Q & A with Kyle Dunn
First Amendment Gallery is pleased to announce the premier solo show from Oakland-based artist, Kyle Dunn. “BUZZ” is the artist’s debut exhibition at First Amendment- To get our audiences familiar with Dunn’s background and creative process, we asked him a few questions in anticipation of this latest body of work:
A highlight of your work is this symbiotic interchange between organic shapes and flawless, almost mechanical, forms. What areas of the natural world & the digital world do you draw inspiration from & where do you think those worlds intersect?
Producing clarity and sharpness of forms is important to my process because it is direct and specific. I like when the ambiguity is traded in for definition- in a strange way it feels more authentic to me. To combine ultra defined shapes with mushier, more formless compositional elements creates a satisfying contrast, because one style enhances the other. I'm personally inspired by the natural world in so many ways, but creatively, more so by immaterial features. Ethereal aspects of light and atmosphere as opposed to things physical. And yes, the digital domain certainly inserts itself as an influencer- and probably with more force. My curiosity is mostly about the way ideas, imagery, and functions continue to be streamlined to extremes that are increasingly unimaginable. I think the intersection of these worlds occurs in our minds, which is fascinating, unsettling, and most times hard to comprehend.
There’s so much movement in your creative output that really lends itself to installation-based work. You have done some installations in the past, do you have plans for this upcoming show or future shows to create more installations?
Blurring the lines between two and three dimensions has been a creative interest for a while, and I like when the audience is cognitively challenged in this way. I have many more plans for sculptural installations than I've been able to realize, so I will definitely be taking advantage of the opportunity at First Amendment to do so!
Your color pallets are so vibrant, very reminiscent of the 1980’s/90’s neon trends that have been making a comeback in recent years. How do you think growing up in a time when colors and patterns were striking (in comparison to the past and current minimalistic movements) has influenced your process?
I was certainly exposed to vivid color early on and throughout my childhood, and perhaps more so in the town that I grew up (Daytona Beach, FL) than other places, as it is a beachy tourist town and certainly exudes that aesthetic. The way fluorescence in color operates scientifically is rather amazing and lends itself well to optical effects that I often explore in paintings. All that said, I do not know to what extent the colors I use are influenced by the time and place of my upbringing versus the current ideas I'm working with. I'd like to think the different palettes used from piece to piece are mostly non-referential, and more driven by subtle interplays between contrast, rhythm, and harmony, but I fully acknowledge there are subconscious factors at work.
A big thank you to Kyle for opening up to us about his work! “BUZZ” will be on view for the month of April; Running concurrently with Aubrey Learner’s “Fly Traps,” First Amendment invites you to join us for this double opening reception Saturday April 6th, 7pm to 10pm. For more information on the artist, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.