Ken Griffen's FACE VALUE

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I first encountered Ken's work quite a while back, in the form of his graphic design and Creative Direction platform Roaring Fork, by way of some social-media spiral clicks on a Huffer campaign.

 

Fast forward two years, I received an email about a week ago invite the launch of Face Value; more recent social-media clicks and Google search spirals led me to discover that the dude isn't only super fly at commercial work, but has a heart and soul in legit art.

 

"A perception of society based on face value — always judge a book by its cover."

 

Ken's lived on K'Rd, in Vancouver, New York and Berlin. One of his more hectic art projects includes using a friend as a human canvas; Ken's illustrations are brought to life through tattoo on a subject literally moving through the human experience (I can truly say that the 'Joe the Human Canvas' exhibition is my most anticipated art show of all time). His mother was an artist, and he's been selling his work since he was 15.

 

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Face Value's collection found its beginnings in Ken's sketchbook - faces and features the subject of people-watching. The sketches themselves were then dissected in the studio, where Ken blows them up, plays with watercolour, pencils, and other media. When complete, he turns the lot into silk-screen prints.

 

“Fleeting relationships, encounters, sightings. Making brutal and instant generalisations on society under the pervasive guise of our personal perspectives”

 

This is the first exhibition from the man which falls outside the commercial art world. Given the buzz I saw around the buying table at the exhibition's opening, he's set to be very settled in the non-commercial art world.

 

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Here's an artist who can tightrope walk the line between mainstream cool and artistic integrity (which despite absolutely no experience as an art critic, I can say in a rhetoric flourish, because this is the internet, and that means #democracyofthought). There's original trademark style, accessible aesthetic value, and distinguished intent. This is every bit the hypothetical indie band you want the original records of.

 

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Ken Griffen

Face Value

AllPress Gallery

On now - 5th June

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