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Candace Keegan grew up in Niagara Falls, NY. She attended the State University of New York at Potsdam, where she earned a BA in art studio, with a concentration in painting and a Master of Science in teaching. Later she completed a Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting from The Catholic University of America. Keegan's work has been exhibited in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Buffalo and New York, NY.
She has taught a wide range of courses at the college level including: painting, drawing, design and art education at Catholic Univeristy, Marymount University, Northern Va Community College and Buffalo State College. She now resides and works in Buffalo, New York.
Keegan on her Self Portraits (2005):
"As both artist and model, my work presents a twist on the masculine tradition of the artist/model relationship. I take on the widely accepted practice of women being the model and muse of male artists, without being the artists themselves. I am both subject and artist. I am observer and observed. I exploit this sometimes uncomfortable relationship to explore the many levels of self; myself as artist, and myself as a woman. This has ultimately led me to investigate popular notions about the roles of women within contemporary culture.
The paintings consider some of the questions that confront one at crucial junctures in the inevitable journey of self-discovery that is necessary if one is to grow and survive: either as an artist or as an individual. Where does the self exist? Is the artist part of, or apart from, the idea of self as woman? Do the two feed each other, or are they mutually exclusive? Is my own meaning and self-image bound up with assumptions that other people make about me, or do I have greater intellectual and emotional worth than a stranger can see? Can I paint myself from the remove of an interested, but uninvolved portraitist looking at her/his subject for the first time? Or, is self-portraiture always and in all ways the most intimate way of looking at oneself? How does the self-conception of the painter affect the conception of the self represented in her/his paintings?
While performance and photography are key elements within my process, I utilize a conventional protocol of under-painting, modeling and color application. I begin work on a painting by acting out a situation as a series of digital snapshots are taken. Referencing the images, I create several drawings and then translate the scenario in oil paint. This allows me first to examine my perception of myself and later to contemplate from the vantage point of the spectator the shape that that perception takes. I review the pictures and choose the ones that best communicate the mood, emotion or idea that I want to portray in the finished painting.
I strive create images that demonstrate balance, harmony and contrast of color. I use the canvas as a place to create order. While many aspects of life seem out of my control, I find solace in manipulating the paint into recognizable images. Immersed in tradition, it is my belief that oil paint as a medium is still very relevant today.
Drawing thematically on art historical references, I engage in a dialogue with the painters of the past as I delve into recurrent issues and long standing conventions of female imagery in an effort to find where I might fit in as a woman, and as an artist."
On her "Objects of Desire" series (2007):
"Objects of Desire This series includes self-portraits, images of wind-up toys and odd little play things. Each chosen material subject represents a personal symbol for the artist; of things desired or things expected or otherwise. The toys are manifest of adult human needs and desires in pictures that seem at first innocent. Originally hung as an installation, the first part of the series was presented with a large scale nude self portrait in the center and the small toys surrounding it. They were all labeled "Objects", even the figure. The objects of course, are material. The portrait however, is a painting of the artist, a human. The model/artist bares herself and a toy robot necklace. It is meant to be a juxtaposition of the two; the subject is object and the object is human, but the necklace is material. Who desires what? The artist is meant to evoke questions that remain unanswered."
On her narrative work(2003-2005):
"The narrative paintings are loosely based on portraits of the artist, but are not necessarily literal ones. The paintings are meant to be open ended narratives, giving the viewer the opportunity to complete the story. They are meant to provoke questions regarding what might have been before and what could come after. The figure is the central character of a snapshot in time and the viewer is caught looking in on a private moment."
On the "I, Candy" Series(2003-present):
The "I, Candy" series began with one little painting that was meant to be a tongue and cheek word play on the artist's name, "Candy" (the nickname for her full name Candace). This little painting ultimately lead her to a long term investigation of the ideas of perception and identity. With these provocative self portraits, Keegan takes on the widely accepted practice of women being the model and muse of male artists, without being the artists themselves. She is both the observer and the observed. The viewer gazes at the figure and the figure gazes back, confronting the viewer with her painted eyes.If you are looking for my old website, click here.
Blue Robot (detail)
Lonely Robot #2
Object #10 (detail)
Objects of Desire #1 (Mortality)
Lonely Robot #1
Big Lolly-POP (detail)
Freya's Necklace 2 (detail)
I, amazon (detail)
Leda and the Swan
Leda in the Tub
Leda and The Swan (detail)
Lolly-POP 4 (detail)
Pink Lolly-POP (detail)
Naked Lunch (detail)
Leda and The Swan (detail)
Sugar Daddy (detail)
This is NOT a Lolly-pop (detail)
Speak No Evil, Eat No Candy (detail)
Hear No Evil, Ahhhhhh!! (detail)
Hear No Evil, Ahhhh!! (detail of drawing)
Hear No Evil, I Can't Hear You! (detail)
See No Evil, No Peeking
See No Evil, or Anything Else
Speak No Evil, Eat No Candy
After the Fall
Before and After (detail)
Big Chair (detail)
Catch Me if You Can (detail)
Does This Make Me Look Fat? (detail)
Does This Make Me Look Fat? (detail)
Green Couch 2
The Red Sea
Self Portrait 2002 (detail)
Sunday Morning (detail)
The Scale (detail)
Untitled 5 (detail)
Black and White Nude (detail)
Black and white Stallion (detail)
Life model drawing
Reclining Nude (detail)
Seated Nude (detail)
Side Skull (After Albinus)
After the Fall 1 (detail)
Skull (After Albinus)
Green Couch 2
Special thanks to the ever glamorous, partially blind but always obnoxious Todd Messer from Media Spiders.Blog
Thoughts on issues of painting, art-making, life and listings of exhibitions and events.Collecting Colors
Anyone familiar with my work knows that I get excited by color. Sometimes criticized for my color choices(my paintings have even been described as garish), I am not shy about filling my canvas(including painting human flesh) with high key, vibrant color. For years I have been in love with the paintings of the American artist, Wayne Thiebaud; his luscious paintings of cakes and pastries literally make my mouth water. not because of the subject matter, but because of the delicious color. Even in his figurative work and landscape paintings, Thiebaud uses absolutely over-the-top color with brilliant success. In his paintings, one might find a a vivid violet or screaming green in the most unlikely of places such as in a dark shadow or on the side of a woman's face where you'd expect a neutral to be. At first glance, the paintings seem to appear nearly naturalistic, but upon closer observation they are packed with crazy color. I was admiring a beautiful purple and magenta night scape and then a saturated blue sky. I was taking in the colors of the flowers against the neutrals of the city as I sat in traffic. I wish I could literally collect them and out them in little jars. I am limited to attempting to harness them into my imagination and try later to translate them with pigment.
Color can evoke emotional responses, too. Of course the obvious ones such as fiery and passionate red and cool blue, but the play between colors can also evoke feelings and memories. Ah, color. Colors don't have to be in-your-face bright either to have an impact. There is power, too, in subtlety of color. There was a picture book I loved when I was a kid by the author Leo Lionni, entitled, "Frederick the Mouse". This is kind of random, but the story was of a group of field mice preparing their den for a long, cold winter. One particular mouse, Frederick, was seemingly lazier than the others. While all the other mice were running around frantically gathering food and straw, Frederick was sauntering around at his own pace, calmly hanging out and taking in the world around him. Not surprising, the other mice were not too happy with him. Later in the story, when it is the dead of winter and al is colorless and gray, Frederick begins to share with the now rather sad and depressed little mice his rich, color-filled stories of the world outside the den. The illustration in the story is wonderfully done, showing the gray den juxtaposed against the vibrant beauty in Frederick's imagination and how it picks up the spirits of the other little mice. The other mice were collecting tangible necessities for survival; Frederick was collecting color; color and the more intangible necessities for survival. The color-filled stories fed the little mice intellectually, emotionally and maybe even spiritually.
Cheers to color and being aware of living in a technicolor world. Take a moment out of your busy day and collect some color. It's good for your soul.