Copyright 2004-2014

Amalgam: New Photo and Video by Dave Kennedy
Written by Christina DePaolo — 4Culture


In this latest work, Kennedy persists in his knack for turning objects into veritable subjects with his continued exploration of the still life genre. In Amalgam, he composes photographic images from familiar items that make up everyday life. The series depicts a broad range of foods (bananas, hot dogs, pomegranates, beef patties, butter and chicken breasts) aesthetically modified in shape, size, texture and color. These elegant compositions are surprisingly disarming; Kennedy uses unexpected combinations to scramble our senses and challenge how we typically interpret what we see. His juxtapositions imply variations that might breed beneath the skin of things. Insight suggests this might be similarly true of people - that we too are often more than we appear to
be - but we only tend to gather that perspective after formulating a more intimate conversation.

Amalgam also incorporates three video installations in which Dave Kennedy steps in front of his own camera. Projected onto a suspended screen, Purple Dave is an animation whose humor contradicts its meticulous crafting. The artist goes a shade deeper than karaoke, exploring the depth of his topic with a masterful balance of parody and passion. In a second video, The Cat, Myself, and the Bird, Kennedy embodies multiple selves masquerading as others. This work explores the topic of internal and external realms of persona while continuing the meditation on appearances and subjectivities. Likewise, the video Orthodox shows the artist revealing a hidden family secret with the use of a doppelgänger. These works suggest a focus on combinations rather than a singular existence. By blurring the boundaries of space and time, reality and illusion, Dave Kennedy’s video art mirrors back a shared human experience that mixes beauty, reverence, disregard, ugliness and even tension.

Kennedy is best known for utilizing narrative as the major arc of his artistic practice. His work represents an unconventional approach to portraiture. In a recent series, Gaspars, Dugans, Jacks and Kools, Kennedy depicts (and defines) people by the cigarettes they smoke. An earlier series, The Twelve, retells the story of each of the Apostles as urban messengers through staged vignettes on transit buses.

Dave Kennedy earned an MFA in Photomedia from the University of Washington. His undergraduate degree, in art & design, is from Western Washington University in Bellingham. He currently teaches, as adjunct faculty, at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Kennedy’s art synthesizes his interdisciplinary skills in filmmaking, lighting, design, design production and fine arts photography. He currently teaches, as adjunct faculty, at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and is a recipient of the Joanne Bailey Wilson Endowed Scholarship as well as the 4Culture Individual Project Award. He has exhibited nationally and has exhibited at GGibson, Photo Center Northwest, Zhou B Art Center and the Seattle Art Museum's Gallery.

—Written by Christina DePaolo — 4Culture. 4Culture is a unique integration of the arts, heritage, preservation and public art; committed to advancing community through culture. Public exhibitions and performances, public art, preservation of significant sites and interpretation of local history deepen our connections to the places in which we live and work. 4Culture stimulates cultural activity and enhances the assets that distinguish a community as vibrant, unique and authentic.

Stills from Opening ReceptionStills from Opening Reception

Photos: Courtesy of Zorn B. Taylor