One to Watch: Kevin Gray (Germany)

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gray_studio_1Kevin Gray was born in 1982 in Germany and is a graduate of  the Weissensee School of Art Berlin, where he studied with the internationally acclaimed artist Katharina Grosse. Working with both oil and spray paint, Kevin’s works often possess an unidentifiable light-source. He depicts neglected scenes of nature and abandoned architectural structures; poppies, bridges, stairs, and islands are all recurring motifs in his paintings. Despite the lingering mist that seems to permeate his compositions, there is nonetheless a luminous quality to his color palette. Kevin has exhibited extensively in Berlin, and is exhibiting his work for the first time in China in 2014.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
The themes that I pursue are drug production, social alienation, and the destruction of nature. I often paint landscapes and cityscapes that are populated with decaying trees and abandoned and graffitied buildings, stairs, and bridges. Sometimes I fill my landscapes with red poppy flowers; if you look closely, you can see the cut open balls of the flower that produce opium, which can then be processed into heroin.

In the studio working on Island No.1

Kevin inside his studio working on “Island with Arch No. 1″ 

 What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I was once given advice by the German artist, Norbert Schwontkowsky, whose work I greatly admire. He once said “Leave away what is not your picture and you will have your picture.” He also said, “Go on working.”

Dam studio view

Work in progress. 

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I definitely like to listen to music while working in my shared studio space. In the shared space there is an old vinyl-jukebox often playing Schlager, Reggae, Ska, and cheesy 80′s punk music. Otherwise, we listen to whatever is on the radio.

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 A glimpse inside Kevin’s studio. 

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
My first choice would be an etching by Goya from his Disaster of War series, perhaps The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. For me, Goya is the C.G. Jung or Sigmund Freud of the visual arts, as he explored the depths and fears of the human psyche through his artwork.

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On exhibition. 

Who are your favorite writers?
Recently I’ve been reading a lot by Herrndorf, Bulgakow, Auster, Nwaubani, Remarque, Murakami, Dostojewski, and Camus.

31 Comments

  1. Ute Rathmann says:

    Gratulation, lieber Kevin! :-)

    Reply
  2. Jim Harris says:

    Really beautiful and inspiring work.

    Reply
  3. Ryan Harter says:

    Your work is amazing!! If you go to my tumblr (which I hope you will as I would love to follow your work!) you will see I have poppies tattoo’s on my back. In a couple of months there will be a field of poppies integrated into it. Love your work!!

    Reply
    • Kevin Gray says:

      Thank you Ryan, I have no tumblr until now. If I will find time to do it I will get back to you. All best for the fields! ; )

      Reply
  4. Shivanand Shyagoti says:

    Hey Kevin :) Happy to see your work buddy :)

    Reply
  5. Raoul says:

    kevin! keep up the good work, wonderful stuff. very best from bremen, raoul

    Reply
  6. Nuwan Sen says:

    Love your artwork. Especially the picture of the dam (work in progress), “Poppyfield #8″ and “Island with Arch No. 1″
    Am a fan of Murakami literature as well.
    Cheers
    Nuwan Sen

    Reply
  7. I am glad to see the art world recognising your talent, Kevin.
    Your work is unique and deserve to be part of the best
    galleries in the world!
    Message to art investors and art collectors: Here is an emergent
    artist to invest now! In a few years he is going to
    be among the top international artists!
    Kevin Gray – you’re a true star!

    Reply
  8. Suprabha Seshan says:

    Kevin,

    Fantastic work! Your drawings on our porch in the jungle seem so long ago. I love the blue poppies, and many more. I’m delighted to chance upon your portfolio today!

    Reply
  9. Kevin says:

    Dear Supi,
    indeed it feels that quite some time passed. However your place in the Western Ghats is a vivid memory to me. I love the work that you are doing at the sanctuary. It is truly a great inspiration. Convey my greetings to everyone.
    Wish you all the best!

    Reply
  10. Elena Putley says:

    Beautiful paintings, very sensitive.

    Reply
  11. Davida Reis says:

    Magnificent work Kevin, extremely evocative and touching. So glad to have come across it Wishing you all the best.

    Reply
  12. DAMSS says:

    very interesting works

    Reply
  13. Beatifull work, dream like.:-)

    Reply
  14. Kevin Gray says:

    Thank you Lucy!

    Reply
  15. Your beautiful pictures are so inspiring and transporting. i was not expecting to find anything so unique. Thanks. Faff

    Reply
  16. Kevin Gray says:

    Hi Faff, thank you for your words, appreciate it a lot!

    Reply
  17. Kevin, I like the mystic and the poetry inside your work, it tells inspiring stories. Great job!

    Reply
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