Boopy, 9x12 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

$375.00

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Sometimes you just have to do a kind of character study of an interesting face. This young woman has the charm of a Betty Boop and the sex appeal of a movie star. Her bright red hair, full lips, blue eyes and surprised amused expression were the elements that drew me to her.

I'm a big fan of portrait painting in the vein of John Singer Sargent and Malcom Liepke. Often I find pictures of characters on the web and make quick alla prima portraits of people with cool or interesting faces.

Portraits like this are one of my favorite things to paint and draw. This goes all the way back to my childhood when I had a wonderful teacher in junior high school who invited me to stay late after school and he spent an hour and a half going over the proportions of the face and the individual features of the face. This lesson was so inspiring that for years after that I spent a good part of my free time drawing interesting and beautiful faces out of magazines and photo books for years. When I got older, I learned the fundamentals of figure drawing and painting and I was able to grow expand my repertoire but faces are still a favorite subject for me. In this case, sometimes you just have to do a character study of an interesting face.

("Alla Prima" Also known as ‘direct painting’, ‘au premier coup’ or occasionally mistakenly as ‘wet-on-wet’, alla prima is a one-layer painting technique in which the painting (usually painted from life) is completed in one sitting or while the paint is still wet.)

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About the artist, Kenney Mencher,

I was born in Brooklyn February of 1965. During much of my childhood I lived in Brooklyn, the Bronx, upstate NY, Sarasota, Florida and Manhattan. (Both my mother and father divorced and remarried.) The real hero of my childhood is my older brother Marc who literally changed my diapers, acted as my protector and as my role model.

I started to learn to paint and draw when I was six or seven years old and was convinced that I would be an artist from that age on.

As a teen at the High School of Art and Design I got my best training in Irwin Greenberg’s class where he taught me how to draw, oil paint and watercolor. I also attended classes at the Cooper Union and Art Students League.

My parents threw me out in my senior year of high school, so I earned my GED and worked construction on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was a rough time but my older brother and his partner Kirk rescued me by inviting me to move with them to Cincinnati, Ohio to live and study. While a college student, I worked in restaurants and painted as much as I could. After a year at the University of Cincinnati, I went back to the Bronx where I finished college at CUNY Lehman. Lehman is a fantastic college.

After completing my undergraduate studies, I lived in California and then Ohio completing my two masters’ degrees in Art History and Studio Art. After school I was lucky enough to have dual careers as an exhibiting artist and tenured professor.

In 2014 I began to work on paintings with a strong homoerotic content. Despite excellent sales and well received shows, the galleries I worked with wouldn’t show my new queer work, so I’ve been successfully working mainly directly with my collectors. This change has freed me and allowed me to focus on themes and subjects that, in the past, were rejected or resulted in censorship.

Things are going great! In 2016, after eighteen years of teaching art history and studio courses, I resigned a tenured professorship to pursue painting full time.

EDUCATION
1993-1995 University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
MFA Painting

1991-1994 University of California, Davis, CA
MA Art History

1988-1991 City University of New York, Bronx, NY
Magna Cum Laude; BA Art History

1988 University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

1981-1985 Art Students' League, Manhattan, NY

1978-1982 Art & Design High School, Manhattan, NY

EMPLOYMENT
1999-2016 Associate Professor of Art & Art History, Ohlone College, Fremont, CA

1998-1999 Instructor of Art History & Western Civilization, San Francisco University High School

1996-1998 Assistant Professor of Art & Art History, Texas A&M University, Laredo, TX

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021 Lone Star Saloon, San Francisco, CA
It’s All About the Bears

2016 Tracy Center for the Arts, Tracy, CA
The Convict and the Boy, A Graphic Novel and Installation by Kenney Mencher with publication edited by the artist.

2012 Ohlone College, Fremont, CA
Renovated Reputations: Paintings, Installation and Mixed Media by Kenney Mencher with publication edited by the artist.


2012 Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Renovated Reputations: Paintings, Installation and Mixed Media by Kenney Mencher with publication edited by the artist.
2012 Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
Renovated Reputations: Paintings, Installation and Mixed Media by Kenney Mencher with publication edited by the artist.

2012 Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA
Renovated Reputations: Paintings, Installation and Mixed Media by Kenney Mencher with publication edited by the artist.

2011 ArtHaus Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Renovated Reputations: Paintings, Installation and Mixed Media by Kenney Mencher with publication edited by the artist.

2008 Sequential Art Gallery, Portland, OR
Cads and Coquettes

2008 Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
Lovers and Liars

2007 Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Faces and Farces

2007 Gallery 2611, Redwood City, CA
Clichés and Characters

2006 Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Kenney Mencher: Recent Work

2006 Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Apperceptions and Allegories

2006 Norton Studio Gallery, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA
Being There

2006 Esteban Sabar Gallery, Oakland, CA
Similes and Sayings

2005 Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Hamlettes on Wry

2005 Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Mountain View, CA
2004 Louie-Meager Art Gallery, Gary Soren Smith Center, Ohlone College, Fremont, CA
Dress Code
2004 STRS Gallery, Sacramento, CA

1997 Laredo Center for the Arts, Laredo, TX
Noir Images (Solo Show)

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2011 ArtHaus Gallery, San Francisco, CA
The Men's Room

2010 Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Go Figure

2010 ArtHaus Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Resurgence

2009 ArtHaus Gallery, San Francisco, CA
In Black and White: Monochromatic Paintings by Kenney Mencher and Caroline Meyer

2008 Art Museum of Los Gatos, CA
Sex, Politics and Misogyny, Peter Langenbach and Kenney Mencher

2006-07 Klaudia Marr, Santa Fe, NM
14th Annual Realism Invitational
13th Annual Realism Invitational

2006 Triton Art Museum, Santa Clara, CA
Beyond the Likeness: Self Portraits by California Artists

2003 Hang Gallery Palo Alto, CA
One More Thing Before I Go

1999 Jenkins-Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
First Annual Realism Invitational

2001 Craighead-Green, Dallas, TX
Kenney Mencher and Connie Connally

1998 Jenkins-Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Small Works

1998 Jenkins-Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Nancy Switzer, Milt Kobayashi, and Kenney Mencher
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Ratings and Reviews

Michael
Rated 5 out of 5
Thank you for the beautiful drawing !!!! You are a great talent and a wonderful man . God bless and many thanks !

JoeyL06
Rated 5 out of 5
Absolute amazing piece! I love the art and the artist. I will be definitively purchasing more art pieces.

RJ
Rated 5 out of 5
Wow. I've admired Kenney's work for a while, and decided to purchase this work as a gift for a friend. Seeing his work in person is totally different from seeing the photos online... the textures and colors are beautiful. Too bad for my friend, I'm keeping this one for myself! It was packed very very well and arrived in perfect shape. Highly recommended!

PoojiDung
Rated 5 out of 5
Another fantastic piece of art from Mr. Mencher. Speedy shipping and well packaged. Thanks!


Rodolfo
Rated 5 out of 5
I have admired this artist work for quite some time now and always wanted to acquire one of his pieces. I was lucky enough to find this one available and the seller was extremely helpful throughout the whole transaction. Upon receiving this item I was beyond astonished at the care given to how the item was shipped. Talk about professionalism to a T!!! I looked at this piece through strong light and very strong magnification and needless to say, I was totally overwhelmed by just the sheer technique and artistry of his work! My Lord, what an amazing talent he possesses!!! I’ll be purchasing many more items from him as soon as I possibly can. This is definitely going to be A focal point in my vast art collection!!! Beyond over the moon thrilled!!!

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