Kevin Xiques - Artists - Dowling Walsh

Kevin Xiques approaches the canvas intuitively, allowing the act of painting and his emotions to guide his choice of colors and mark-making. Working openly without an agenda, he says, "I utilize painting as a vessel to discover my whole self. Through unplanned intuitive mark-making and gesture, my action or inaction informs my relationship with myself in the present moment; happiness, pain, love, and resentment all inhabit the world I create on the canvas. When finished, a piece of myself is revealed, generated through an accumulation of intertwined gesture, shape, density, and color." His recent paintings are densely layered with active textural marks, drips, swathes, and patches of opaque and translucent color. A through line of blues, ranging from deep cobalt to barely there sky, with grace notes of pure white, conjure thoughts of breath, air, and atmosphere. 

Xiques received a BA in Philosophy with a Film and Television Studies minor from the University of Vermont. He began his painting practice in 2020 while living in Portland, ME. Since then, his work has been included in several exhibitions in Maine and at Katzman Contemporary Projects, Concord, NH, and SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA. His first solo exhibition, This is for You, was at Dowling Walsh Gallery in 2023. He is the recipient of a David C. Driskell Fellowship and Black Seed Studio Residency at Indigo Arts Alliance, as well as a SPACE Gallery Studio Grant. In 2022, Maine Magazine selected him as one of eighteen artists to watch. He currently lives and works in Queens, NY.

Artist Statement

My work is a representation of my escape from the metaphorical box I spent my childhood in. I grew up in a rural town in Vermont as one of the only people of color. I was frequently singled out for being one of the few black people in my school and was known for being “slower” because of my dyslexia and slow processing speed. It was extremely difficult for my mind to follow conventional methods of learning, and I struggled in educational settings that demanded a standardized approach.

My art is the liberation of my mind. I am allowing myself to embrace my own way of processing things and to forget about any normalcy I "should be” taking part in. There is no planning behind any of my pieces, only guidance from my present emotions. I make each mark as an intuitive response to the relative state of the canvas. My color palettes are created in the moment; no combination of colors is off limits.

This process is my therapy and a commitment to honoring my mind and the way it thinks. My paintings are the manifestation of the freedom I have gained and the freedom I am hoping every individual will come to realize. As long as we are not doing harm to others, there is no right or wrong way to think or act. My work celebrates freedom of thought and represents emancipation from the status quo.

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