Born in 1972 in Fairfax, Virginia, Kevin Keul was raised by a housing developer in the foothills of North Carolina, where he developed a deep relationship with the land. He witnessed the transformation of the land from its natural state into suburban constructs and an engrained systematic approach towards reconstructing nature was nurtured in his mind.
In 1996, Kevin was honored as the best sculptor in his class from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. After graduating with a BFA in Sculpture, Kevin moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he continued to work on sculptural projects. He became proficient in specialty surface treatments and unique building techniques. Working with objects from his West Oakland neighborhood, Kevin pushed his mastery of techniques with resin and material, referencing the larger context of the built environment around him. Embracing various media including photography, his work evolved from purely compositional based works into narratives touching upon the human experience.Over the years, Kevin has continued to reflect upon his interest in Land Scarification.
Classes at the Peralta School System developed new skills including TIG welding and digital printing. This was followed acceptance to the graduate program at Mills College in 2013. In 2015, Kevin earned his MFA and presented a new body of constructed paintings at Incline Gallery in San Francisco and Bridgemaker Arts in Richmond, CA. He was also nominated that year for the Headlands Center for the Art Graduate Fellowship. Kevin currently lives and maintains his studio practice his studio practice in East Oakland.
By creating layers referencing observed shifting formations of terrain over time, my work aims to draw attention to the ever evolving markings made to landscape through consumption and manufacturing. Taking inspiration from shapes sourced through satellite images and aerial photographs, my work is created through an abstract approach with materials rooted in construction such as steel, iron and plywood. Each shape is individually treated with paint, burnt with welds, etched into with raw lines, and at times coated with resin. Directly referencing recorded shapes from our current landscape, rusted metals and treated plywood pieces interplay with chalk paint in a more gestural and intuitive process merging color with form. Embedded into plywood, stark white panels securely hold the various formations which allude to the transformation of raw material into new manufactured landscapes.
Observing these “man” made shapes intentionally, from a distance, through these digital tools, allows me to explore not only the distance we may relate to the landscape as a society immersed in technology, but also questions the separation we may have to the actual dirt beneath our feet. From fracking and salt ponds, rectangular formations in farm fields, circular patterns resulting in irrigation fields, my work observes the new constructions of our landscape.
1101 Lake Street at 12th Avenue
San Francisco CA 94118