London

Kenrick McFarlane
Born 1990 in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Lives and works in Los Angeles, California, USA
For his oil paintings, Jamaican-American artist Kenrick McFarlane takes inspiration from old masters’ compositions and visual techniques of Renaissance painting, juxtaposing those with a bold colour palette and a cartoonish stylisation. McFarlane skillfully comments on the politics of self-representation and the historical objectification of Black people in visual culture and beyond. By allowing the protagonists of his canvases to inhabit stories filled with intimacy, vulgarity, humour, and beauty, he disrupts and redefines traditional Black portraiture. Another characteristic quality in McFarlane’s practice is an alluring retention of details, such as the blurring of facial features and figures reduced to mere colourful brush strokes. This abstraction gives the viewer space to participate in the narrative, while at the same time permitting the subjects a sense of privacy and self-preservation. Recently, McFarlane's work was exhibited at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in Los Angeles, where the artist is currently based.
Kenrick McFarlane, A Reunion of Two Souls, 2021, Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 91.4 cm. Courtesy of Unit London.

Artists 2022