Discobulously Posed Young Man, 12x16 inches oil paint on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

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This portrait is a kind of reboot of the classical sculpture the "Discus Thrower" by Myron and a contemporary portrait of a handsome young black man.

The Diskobolos of Myron is a Greek sculpture that represents a youthful ancient Greek athlete, poised as if ready to spin around and release the discus. The original Greek bronze dates from about 460–450 BC and is lost, but the work is known through numerous Roman copies in marble, a cheaper material than bronze. It shows real life through art, and showing success and motion, creating angles of symmetry, and the values of the human body.

I'm inspired by the strength it takes for black people to live in the United States especially at this time in history when human rights and equal rights are so much under attack. This portrait of a handsome brave young man.

I try to make really well crafted work about the human figure and the human condition. I focus on the kind of beauty for both men and women that is "non-standard."

I'm a voyeur who appreciates the beauty in all people, especially the unusual or non-standard variety.

I've been working in thicker and thicker layers and spending more time each day on each painting. One of the things that I've done recently is that I have decided to work on most paintings for at least 2 to 3 days, letting it dry in between each of these days, so that I can rework the color, drawing and anatomy, and lastly but probably most important thing for me is to build the paint surface up and the texture of the brushwork needs to mimic what it's portraying. For example, in most of the faces that I paint I try to make the angles of the brushwork match the facets of things like cheekbones and eye sockets.

Here's a bit more about Kenney Mencher the artist,

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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