It was a little over six years ago when I first got the opportunity to meet a San Diego based artist who impressed me in several ways. At the time of our meeting, Kirby Jean Kendrick of Mission Hills shared with me that she was a cancer survivor who developed an appreciation for art while recovering in the hospital. Rather than dwelling on her cancer, she found a positive outlet that would eventually take her on an amazing journey as a contemporary, Southwest, impressionist artist.
Petite, soft spoken and gentle in nature, Kendrick has an appetite for many art forms and artists. It’s reflected in her home in San Diego, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. And, it’s obvious by the constantly changing message of her artwork. She is a forward thinker, constantly striving to perfect her art form, which she does by studying “the masters.”
Kendrick says she has a monthly “love fest” with different artists. After serious analysis of their work and style of painting, she attempts to imitate, with her own twist. At the time of our meeting, Kendrick spoke of DeKooning, an abstract, expressionist artist whose work can be seen at the MOMa Gallery in New York.
However, while recently visiting Kendrick at her Mission Hills’ office and studio, which is a renovated machine shop, I learned and saw some of her recent work, including a traveling show, titled, “KA-POW!” It is a multi-faceted installation inspired by street art and graffiti art and the images are painted, drawn, stenciled, glittered, inked and collaged. According to her website, each symbol or image has a specific meaning: global, political, cultural, historic and personal.
My response to Kirby after seeing this very exciting and dynamic style of art was that she has the energy and style of someone very young in age inspired by urban culture. In response, Kirby thanked Maxx Moses, graffiti artist and teacher. He provided her with the tools and skills. Kirby is her own inspiration.
According to Kirby, “I fell in love with Renaissance art. Then I fell in love with all kinds of icons, from religious to comic. What’s happening? Where is the relationship? This installation is the delight in seeking and finding the relationship.”
She incorporates Piero della Francesca’s elegant geometry and Olive Oyl’s awkward angles, as well as Boticelli’s allegories and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s mysticism. She also incorporates Mantegna’s hard-edged monumentality and the bigger than life, tough Dick Tracy. It’s an intriguing and visually moving art form.
Besides her passion for creating art, she also is excited with her blog, which is allowing Kendrick to communicate to people all over the world. She says it has become a vehicle to communicate on so many different fronts on the art scene. Galleries, artists and their interesting lifestyles and creations are all topic for the blog. If you sign up you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be amazed: http://www.kirbykendrick.com. Kendrick is an inspiration, an artist who continues to reinvent herself and gifts the world with her artwork and art appreciation.
Category: Local News