‘Painting is the utmost devious and inefficient way to capture your ideas and emotions. But exactly that, the deviousness and many limitations that come with it, make the outdated art of painting so intriguing.’
Kenne Gregoire (Teteringen, 1951) studied in Amsterdam at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten. At the academy, Otto B. de Kat from Haarlem was the most influential teacher for Kenne. Otto B. de Kat taught Kenne the techniques behind composition and use of colour. Even though Kenne Gregoire mainly uses techniques from the seventeenth century, he approaches his work in a non-traditional matter where the subjects in his paintings show a great diversity. His biggest challenge is painting an illusion where the items on the canvas are three-dimensional. Examples of this are his works Memories and Clear Memories where both works are trompe l’oeils of a cupboard with several objects where each represents a memory. The viewer is seduced and the eye is deceived. The perspectives in some of Gregoire’s still lives are sometimes disrupted in a way that it appears to have different perspectives at ones. The intention of the artist is to hint the viewer towards the fact that you are looking at an illusive world derived from the artist’s imagination.
The oeuvre of Gregoire contains next to still lives also buildings, landscapes and theatre shows from the Commedia dell’Arte. These contrasting paintings are depicted with theatrically dressed people that express loneliness, doubt and desire. These paintings have a different coloring scheme than his still lives. The glee of the colorful image has a contrasting sadness and lowering to it.
Whether it is a still live or a scene from the Commedia dell’Arte, in all compositions one can find decay and beauty. The objects in the still lives are never new. They are damaged, dented and rusty because they have been used and have had a life on their own. They are neutral objects that are recognizable to everyone. The original background, an old table or a set of wooden planks often come through the painting and become a part of the composition. In order to depict the wear and tear of the objects, Gregoire uses subtle colours, which he applies with a high level of technical skills. The end result is to create a beautiful image. The artist finds aesthetics very important in his artworks.