Kevin Arnold

Region: South


City / State: Fort Smith , AR

My paintings carry the weight of domestic disconnect through the unsentimental depiction of generic, mass-produced objects. The unnoticed, utilitarian things that facilitate our day-to-day existence—plain cardboard boxes, air vents, metal chairs, folding tables, vinyl office furniture—are presented in a deadpan, almost existential manner in order to question our sense of the familiar and the quality of our attention to our surroundings.

To say that we are inundated with an ever-growing amount of visual information is by now a cliché. In order to process so much information, we develop routines to separate the consequential from the nonessential. These self-determined routines are particularly important as we transition from one space to the next; the visual “scan” is the tool we use to navigate this constant flow of information. By painting the mundane with a degree of realism, I disrupt the viewer’s habits of looking and challenge the almost-mechanical process of the scan.

My approach has been to paint objects with trompe l’oeil fidelity at a 1:1 ratio. This is a means of playing with the familiarity of scale and perspective, while creating an intimate, almost surreal encounter for the viewer. In other words, the painting begins to function visually in the same way it functions physically. It begins to act like the thing it is.