Robert Kinsell

Today I was in a doctor’s office where there were lots of balloons.  One of the office assistants said, to no one in particular, “When you see balloons they just make you happy.”  I think she is right.

I then thought of this painting I recently saw on display at McMurtrey Gallery in Houston.  Tonight I had the pleasure of listening to the artist, Robert Kinsell, speak about his paintings.  The painting with the balloons is titled “Wannabe”.  Mr. Kinsell described the squash hanging with the party of balloons, as the symbol of the person at the party who finds it painful to talk to anyone (some of us will relate).  It is witty, symbolic, and very interesting – all at the same time.  The translucent colors of the balloons are beautiful.

Mr. Kinsell is a Texas artist who likes to paint still life with a bit of humor.  While his subject is in the classical still life genre, his work is contemporary in the stage-like set up of his objects.  The staging light (see “Appeeling” below), which is truly the evening light of west Texas, pulls the objects out in relief giving the work a contemporary feel.  Take for example the still life on cinder blocks (as opposed to a fancy bowl on an antique table) with lemons, bananas, and a pineapple.  It is called “Triad Yellow”.   There is an inverted triangle on the cracked yellow wall:

the bananas are cut off in this image, but not in the actual painting

This next painting is titled “Appeeling” (Mr. Kinsell loves a pun) and the fruit is hanging from barbed wire.  The peeled away rinds make me think the rinds may soon be wings and take off in any minute, or fins for swimming away.  Even while I delight in the humor behind many of Mr. Kinsell’s paintings, I think the shadows are wonderful, and the fruit so accurately depicted:The string of fruit draping in front of the west Texas evening landscape is quirky and marvelous.  It is called “Bat Bait”, and was actually enjoyed by bats on Mr. Kinsell’s land near Fort Davis, Texas:This last painting is already in someone’s home, looking fantastic and fun!


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she will be the curator of your place

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