GARDINER — Monkitree will showcase two screen-print suites by artist Kenny Cole of Monroe on Friday, May 6, at 263 Water St. during Artwalk Gardiner.

There will be an opening reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The first suite,“Gasoline Prices,” is a series of eight prints that illustrate every gas price to the nearest cent, from 20 cents to $5. They are silk-screen printed using cut paper stencils. The font face is based on the hexagonal shapes found in a seven-segment digital display, which is typical of gas pump read outs.

Cole’s approach to this work is conceptual, narrative and visual. Conceptually he sets up a rule to represent a finite group of numbers that are relational to retail consumption of gasoline. This simple gesture brings with it the whole history of oil production, international conflicts over resources and the ensuing history of domestic economic crises that have rippled through countries due to price fluctuation.

The exhibit will also include work from a suite in progress titled “The 1911 Abides.”

“The 1911” is the name of a .45-caliber Colt pistol that was formally adopted by the U.S. Army on March 29, 1911, and has continued to be a popular and favorite firearm. The “1911” is described in a gun magazine article as comfortable for an all-day carry. Within each print he has circled out, using gouache, a secondary narrative, intuitively wrought as a response to the language and words within the article.

Cole studied art in New York City at Pratt Institute. Upon graduation he found himself confronted with a burgeoning neo-expressionist art scene in New York City’s East Village and much of the artistic activity was played out as artist organized shows in various nightclubs and alternative spaces.

Cole moved to Maine in 1994 with his wife and two children. He has been an active member of the art community in Maine as a member of Union of Maine Visual Artists and as a board member of Waterfall Arts. In 2002 he committed himself to creating politically engaging art.


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