Kevin Bourgeois takes the challenging medium of graphite and expands its boundaries in ways that invite inspection, contemplation, and interrogation. Through an almost painterly application of pencil on paper, Bourgeois experiments with both form and content, linking the complicated visual field with the equally complex subject matter. The combination of socio-political messages with a formal technique and aesthetically appealing product to transgress the association of socially explorative art with messiness and lack of pleasure.
The writings of Jean Baudrillard
, Hakim bey
, Allen Ginsberg
, and Arthur Rimbaud
frequently appear interwoven in the drawings, and also serve as an influence in the subject matter. The work is intellectual without being overly academic, definitive without being dogmatic, and displays a keen curiosity in what dwells beneath the surface.
An underlying theme of contrast defines the essence of Bourgeois’ exhaustively detailed drawings. The polarities of the sentimental and the cerebral, science and spirituality, poetics and politics, combine with the contrast heavy application of the black and white graphite medium. The body of work centralizes around the juxtapositions of technology versus human nature, individuality versus consumer culture, and superficiality versus altruism. Bourgeois' art constantly grapples with the experience of the often emotionally sterile and multi-layered complications of contemporary existence and probes the relationship between love and sacrifice, constriction and freedom, mind and heart. Traveling the line that faintly defines each world from the next and exploring the barrier that can protect just as it restricts.
Written by Abby Hertz