Recent Paintings

Kevin Bean, Early Summer, 60 x 50", Oil on canvas, 2002. Kevin Bean, On the Lawn, 60 x 50", Oil on canvas, 2001. Kevin Bean, Godparent, 60 x 50", Oil on canvas, 2003.
Kevin Bean, Couple, 30 x 25", Oil on canvas, 2002. Kevin Bean, Listening, 30 x 25", Oil on canvas, 2002. Kevin Bean, Sisters, 30 x 25", Oil on canvas, 2002.
Kevin Bean, Changing Light, 60 x 50", Oil on canvas, 2004. Kevin Bean, Casting Shadows, 60 x 50", Oil on canvas, 2003. Kevin Bean, Father and Son, 60 x 50", Oil on canvas, 2003.

In this series of paintings based on old black & white family photos, Kevin Bean shares his history: He shares his family and their experiences; he shares his skill for painting. In the catalog essay, Jeff Kelley writes: "What Bean sees in his family photographs is a language of body postures, self-conscious poses, unconscious gestures caught in mid-sweep, bodies conforming to the relaxing curves of patio furniture, or standing upright and probably saying "cheese."… As a painter, Bean pares down the naturalism of the photographs by brushing out faces, letting hues bleed between figure and ground, and generalizing details into soft liquid passages. The result is a kind of emotional semaphore. He also paints an occasional luminous, colorful spot, something like a snowflake, falling faintly upon the scene as if from another season, perhaps from the winter of adulthood reflecting back upon so many forgotten summers… It is in this sense that Bean's paintings are less precise, but more clear, than his family photographs."

The work is fresh, interesting, and inviting; it references a tradition of figurative painting and then moves beyond. These paintings are literally conversations of light and color. Perhaps more that this, each one is an eloquently composed dialog that the viewer is invited to join. Because most of us have the common experience of family photos and associated memories, we accept - and embrace - Bean's paintings, and his history, as they become our own.

Kevin Bean’s paintings at first glimpse reminds us of the San Francisco Figurative painters such as Elmer Bischoff and David Park who preceded him by several generations. But Bean has gone beyond them. He has said that he has something else in mind. What that “something else” is certainly has to do with his faceless figures that achieve a kind of universality, in timeless light, each painting a kind of epiphany ...
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, December 23, 2003

Kevin Bean's Artist Page

Kevin Bean - I am a Group Show

Artist's Web Site