Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More human than human

There’s something about local artist Keegan Wenkman’s surreal, distorted imagery that makes his subjects appear more real and human. The characters in his paintings and illustrations have arrows through their heads and hearts. They have moon-sized faces and arms as thin as a string of Wrigley’s that’s been pulled and twirled around fingers too many times to count. They have eyes as big as plates and noses as small as roly-polies. And they’re all equally curious: Who are these people layered in thick paint squares and swirls? And where did those arrows come from?

Recently, the mostly self-taught artist has made a name for himself in the local music world for his posters filled with bizarre-afternoon-dream imagery. And now Wenkman has all of his one-of-a-kind hand-printed rock posters (as well as his paintings and illustrations) for sale on his web site,

His latest poster for local musician Charlie Parr is loaded with the kind of mind-playing-tricks puzzle of images that have logical connections the more you stare at each one. Concentrate on one long enough like a game of memory, and suddenly you’re convinced the light bulbs, the crimson wolf, and the high-heeled shoes are the keys to the tale of the faceless man hovering in the poster’s center.

You can get Wenkman’s one-off rock posters—for big-name local acts like the Alarmists, Building Better Bombs, Gay Beast, Mystery Palace, and the aforementioned Charlie Parr—for $15 or $20, a sweet deal (for original art!) that also includes shipping. And his eerie, unearthly paintings and Victorian-inspired illustrations are quite a steal, too.

Wenkman’s current artwork can also be viewed at Outside and Others Gallery and Rogue Buddha Gallery.

Keegan Wenkman:
Outsiders and Others:
Rogue Buddha Gallery:

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