Fade Haired Cubby Beard, oil on canvas panel, 9x12 inches by Kenney Mencher

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One of my favorite things to paint our small wet into wet portraits or heads. This was one of the first things that I learned how to draw when I was seven or eight years old. I had a book of fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson and there was a wonderful profile drawing of him on the back of the book and from this illustration I learned how to draw heads in profile. So, I’ve always been really drawn to profile views of the human head. In high school I would come to school an hour or two early to study with Max Ginsberg and Irwin Greenburg at the High School Art Design in New York City. They would set up one of the students as a model and we would paint from life before we start our classes. Painting small portraits like this is like returning to a first love.

The subject matter is also something that I find myself attracted to both because it’s a portrait of a “cub” but also because of the fade haircut that he has. I have one collector who loves to collect most of my paintings of men with fade haircuts. He’s a hairdresser and he is often commented how accurate the portrayal of this haircut is.

I used a colorful palette of non-local color, especially in the hair where you can see blues and grays. The Impressionists were the first to work with the idea of “nonlocal color.” Nonlocal color in Impressionist painting is often the use of a color that you don’t expect to find in an object. For example, Monet painted haystacks with one side of the haystack being a brownish orange but the shadows were often blue. If you were to ask a child to paint a haystack they might paint the sunlight side as being a brownish orange but then in the shadow they would either add black or dark brown to it. This was the standard for painting objects up until the era of Impressionism in which they were trying to paint colors in the way that they actually appeared rather than a concept called color constancy. Here’s an excellent definition of how nonlocal color and local color work for painting.

This is from Wikipedia:

"In painting, local color is the color of an object when seen under flat white light with no adjustment for form shadow or colors of light or secondary light sources. An example would be the assumption that an apple is red when it is actually dependent on the color of the light hitting it, color of objects around it, glossiness, and variations within the colors on the surface of the apple itself. Local color is learned in childhood to help simplify and make sense of the world. Coloring books reinforce the idea of simplifying colors. The sky is blue, grass is green, etc. when there are actually myriad variations in hue, chroma, within these areas. In order to represent objects realistically, painters must look beyond the simplifications of local color. Demonstrations of Color constancy show how flawed local color assumptions can be when the light source is has a color shift."

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The size is a standard US frame size and can be framed inexpensively.
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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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