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Ken’s paintings feature a personal iconography of images which recur throughout his work, a Ken Spooniverse peopled with characters and symbols which connect each painting to a larger whole, a mindscape in which he maps out his imagination. Ken also makes items which echo the forms in his paintings, exploring both the craft of manufacture and the art of painting.
The first reading of this painting is the story of the fall of Troy. The Greek soldiers hide inside the wheeled horse, already within the walls of Troy, the thousand ships which sailed in search of Helen, the iconic Greek helmet, and, in the centre of the painting, the head of the artist which contains the idea of the horse. This creativity of the artist is demonstrated both in concept and execution, both the idea of the horse and in making that horse a reality. In this painting, Ken is identifying himself in position of the ancient craftspeople, as artists. Like the ancient vase painters, he is making objects and telling stories.
The bird in the top left is labelled magical: the use of magic as a word and as an idea is a motif in Ken’s work which he uses to express the idea of transformation, when the mind and the hands and the paint come together to become an object of art. It is a metamorphosis on a metaphysical level, a spark that jumps the gap to create something artistic and meaningful.
This oversized painting has an added assemblage: a removable token in the form of a stick with three forms on it, which can be repurposed to the top or side of the painting, or positioned as a freestanding object. Placing the stick across the top makes the painting appear as a tapestry, placing it to the side transforms it into a flag, or alone it becomes a spear.
The symbols become like hieroglyphics; the shape of the birds rhyme with shape of the winged blue horse, and also rhythmically echo the curved hull of the boat. Elsewhere the curve of urns rhyme with upside down helmets, stars become crosses become suns, creating a rhythmic energy and an encircling, dynamic synergy full of repetition and variance.