The Red Arrow Gallery / 919 Gallatin Ave., #4 February 23, 2019 - March 31, 2019

John Paul Kesling

The Red Arrow Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition with Nashville-based Artist, John Paul Kesling. Panic and Purpose will open at 6 PM on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019.

John Paul Kesling paints intuitively and prolifically, his works pieced together like narratives or broken memories. Feelings of fear, urgency, and enthusiasm emanating from the landscapes and figures he creates. Working on multiple surfaces and layering his mediums, the collage-like paintings feel alive.

“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, an excerpt from Panic and Purpose artist statement, 2019

John Paul Kesling (b. 1980 Ashland, KY) was born and raised in the Ohio River Valley, spending much of his youth outdoors. He attended Morehead State University in Morehead, KY for his BFA in Art and spent a semester in Europe studying art history. Kesling went on to receive an MFA in Painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. He spent the next six years immersed in the NYC art scene while living in Brooklyn. In March 2016, he attended a month-long artist residency at The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and realized how integral time, space, and nature were to his studio practice. In July of that year, he relocated to Madison, TN where he currently lives and works. This is his first show with The Red Arrow Gallery.