“I want painting to be difficult so that there is always room for failure. Working this way has an unintended consequence of improving the skills…”
Alex Kanevsky is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based painter who teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He shows at J. Cacciola Gallery and Dolby Chadwick Gallery. He also has shown in Milan, Italy at the Barbara Frigerio Gallery.
Alex intentionally doesn’t include a bio with his work because he hopes the paintings speak for themselves. If you are curious how paintings evolve to their finished state, check out Alex’s progress pages on his site. There you can see photographs of each stage of three different paintings as they are being completed.
Relationship to the Painting Process:
“Painting is not something I do to a canvas. It is a form of conversation, and just like a conversation it can turn out exciting, boring, ugly, beautiful, enlightening. Like a conversation, it can have unexpected turns, sudden discoveries and hidden subtext and periods of silence. All this is what makes painting endlessly fascinating.” (source Making Art Interview)
On Oil Painting:
“One just has to find something that works with the right speed and intensity for one’s own needs. If a medium is too fast for you, then you loose control over it, and everything falls apart. Watercolor is far too fast for most people, so there were only half a dozen artists who ever did it well. If the medium is too slow and deliberate for you, then you loose interest: your thoughts are always ahead of your hands. What could be free pursuit, full of excitement and danger, becomes instead a diligent execution of pre-meditated projects. Ideally one uses a medium that works as close to the speed of one’s thoughts as possible. Oil painting does it for me. And that is fortunate, since it also happens to be the most universal and powerful medium.” (source: Broad Street Studios Interview)
The Difficulty of Painting:
“Well, it is the road with no end. As your skills inevitably get better with time, you expect more from yourself. Skills in themselves, beyond certain serviceable level, don’t matter very much, but I always want to function at the limit of my current abilities to keep things exciting. There should always be danger of painting crushing and burning. I want painting to be difficult so that there is always room for failure. Working this way has an unintended consequence of improving the skills. The struggle then has nothing to do with the technical difficulties and the level of skills. The struggle is mostly to find clarity.” (source Painter’s Table Interview)
Gallery 4 – Alex Kanevsky
Gallery 3 – Alex Kanevsky
Gallery 2 – Alex Kanevsky
Gallery 1 – A Conversation with the Canvas