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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vincent Xeus

If you will be in Southern California during the month of April, you won't want to miss the recent work of Vincent Xeus on display at Maxwell Alexander in Culver City.  The reception is this saturday, April 5th at 7 PM, and I wish I could be there.

I first met Vincent Xeus (pronounced "Zeus") at the Portrait Society Conference last year.  We were sitting in adjacent chairs while watching a painting demonstration.  I asked the customary question of "Do you have any examples of your work?"  Due to his young appearance, politeness, and humility, I was not prepared for the mastery and sense of vision I found, piece after piece, as I flipped through his camera roll.

With a name like "Vincent Xeus", you'd better be great, and Vincent does not fail to deliver.  I rarely come across a painter that displays both a solid skill set, as well as a unique sense of vision.  Some figurative artists in attempt to transcend the academic study, artificially graft in fancy elements of uniqueness, but Vincent's imagery never comes across as forced.  It is always refreshing to see work that defies categories.  His subjects range from touching portraits of individuals to images of mortality and alienation that might feel somewhat morbid if they weren't so much fun to look at.   While his work will doubtlessly appeal to fans of the "low brow" movement, I find an emotional and spiritual depth, as well as an optimism and sense of wonder that shines through across his otherwise black panels.  

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