JOHN PAUL KESLING The Red Arrow Gallery Website CV
Nashville, TN | Painting, Drawing
John Paul Kesling was born and raised on the banks of the Ohio River, spending much of his time outdoors. He attended Morehead State University in Morehead, KY for his BFA in Arts and spent a semester in Europe studying art history. Kesling went on to receive his MFA in Painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. He spent the next six years in Brooklyn, NY immersed in the NYC art scene. In March of 2016, he attended a month-long residency at The Vermont Studio Center. While there, he realized how integral time, space, and nature were to his studio practice and in July, 2016 he relocated to Madison, TN. He has recently had solo shows at The Red Arrow Gallery (Nashville, TN), Oz Arts (Nashville,TN) and Tim Faulkner Gallery (Louisville, KY). He is represented by The Red Arrow Gallery. He now owns a dog.
What is important to me in my work isn't a complex or intellectual concept. Through intuition and humor, nostalgia and conversation, I seek honesty through imagery. Painting has a long and diverse history, but the work that resonates with me has always been that made from personality. In the end though, I think humans mostly make things to impress a boy or a girl and that seems pretty okay too.
“In survival, panic and purpose feed creation, hence "Necessity is the mother of invention". These paintings were "invented" to help me understand the contemporary world or at the very least, cope with it. That sounds dismal. But hope is always there, and these paintings are filled with it. Maybe it's on the surface or maybe X-rays would reveal it, but it's there, somewhere. There's that whole thing about how you don't really see somebody's true character till things get really tough. It seems the Universe is testing everybody these days and these paintings are a search for the sweeter side of our character. The work digs for kindness in rubble; a calm. In all their movement, they freeze in a stillness of solace. They are panicking but steadfast with purpose and hope.” — John Paul Kesling