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About Kenneth Hershenson
Kenneth Hershenson is a contemporary fine artist who creates photorealistic acrylic paintings and signed and numbered limited edition prints from those paintings. He has been painting and drawing for over 50 years. He spent the majority of those years teaching himself how to paint and draw and taking workshops from some notable West Coast artists: Eric Weigardt and Lee Wexler (watercolor), Butch Krieger (life drawing), Ned Mueller (portraiture and gouache), and Ann Kullberg and Gary Greene (colored pencil). Kenneth’s artistic approach is rooted in the twin disciplines of realism and illustration. Architectural design and illustration are the basis of much of his professional life, which included serving as an architectural designer with Disneyland and designing Japan stores for Starbucks while living in Seattle. His art influences include 16th century Flemish realists, the creativity and surrealistic styles of Dali and Magritte as well as the craftsmanship and humor of early Donald Roller Wilson.
Kenneth has participated in many juried art shows and has won a number of awards in watercolor, drawing and painting. His acrylic painting A Pair of Jacks has won several recent People’s Choice Awards and a Best in Show Award. It also won an Honorable Mention in the December 2015 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. His “I DO Know Jack!” series was in the final Top 25 Public Vote (out of nearly 1,000 entries) in ArtPrize 7, the largest international art competition and exhibition.
Kenneth is a member of the National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society and the International Guild of Realism. He also teaches acrylic painting at the Atelier School of Art in Royal Oak, Michigan.
His “I DO Know Jack!” paintings appear in five "AcrylicWorks: The Best of Acrylic Painting" books, an annual series of books that exhibit acrylic artwork from artists around the world.
AcrylicWorks 3: Celebrating Texture - A Pair of Jacks
AcrylicWorks 4: Captivating Color: Apple Jack
AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values: Jack of Diamonds
AcrylicWorks 6: Creative Energy: Jack and Coke
AcrylicWorks 8: Ideas & Inspiration: Car Jack
He capped off a successful 2015 by winning the 4th Annual MI Great Artist Competition which is sponsored by Oakland County Michigan Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Park West Gallery of Southfield, Michigan. Park West Gallery is the largest private gallery in the world. For more information visit www.MIGreatArtist.com.
In addition to being published in several North Light Books art books, Hershenson also had twelve of his "jack" paintings included in five consecutive Richeson75 Still Life and Floral exhibits and exhibit books. Ten of those twelve paintings were finalists in the competition.
2016 - A Pair of Jacks*, Jack in the Box* and Apple Jack - A Pair of Jacks used as the cover of the book
2017 - Jack of Diamonds*, Black Jack*, Jack of Clubs* and Jack on the Rocks - Jack of Diamonds used for interior title page
2018 - Jack and Coke*, Gutshot Jack*
2019 - Car Jack*
2020 - Jack and Diet Coke*, Jack of Hearts*
As a former member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, Kenneth’s self-portrait was published in The Best of Colored Pencil 3 and Portrait Inspirations, both by Rockport Publishing.
In the Fall of 2017 his painting, Jack of Clubs, received the Award of Excellence by the National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society and in December 2017 his painting, Jack of Diamonds, was selected as a Finalist in The Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition.
“I have always gravitated towards expression through the medium of paint and pencil. My concentration and focus has been on capturing the idea, the image, and the reality of those serendipitous moments that catch my eye and heart simultaneously. I am currently exploring the magical geometry and abstractions of reflections in chrome in my series of acrylic paintings called “I DO Know Jack!” I am coupling my extreme interest in reflective surfaces using the ubiquitous children’s toy chrome jacks with my love of humor by titling each painting with a pun or play on words. I am fascinated with placing these jacks in unexpected settings and scales.
The game of jacks has existed for thousands of years and spans continents and cultures. The Greek philosopher Plato credited the Egyptians with the invention of the game. It has appeared in paintings and sculptures from the ancient Greeks, the paintings of Pieter Bruegel in the 16th century and a handful of contemporary artists. The geometric design of the modern metal jack with its sleek and reflective surfaces called to my imagination and childhood memories. They represent the simplicity of childhood and the complexity of adulthood. I choose to create stark and simple images that exemplify what a child might see...the complex distilled down to basic truths. If my engagement with the canvas brings pleasure to others…I am profoundly pleased.
While I understand and appreciate art as a conduit to voice political beliefs or explore the depths of the human spirit, as an older artist I prefer to capture humor and whimsy. It is my experience that the human condition is filled with enough stresses and challenges on a daily basis. I prefer to provide a smile or a moment of carefree fun.”