The following are a series of questions posed to Douglas Kenney from May 29, 2008.
Kailua, Hawaii USA 1962 –
Incendia Ceramica/ The Fire Works
Born of fire, sweat, and imagination, this new body of work by Douglas Kenney shows a hard earned mastery of color, form, and clay. Kenney has forged a ceramic language that seems to fuse the abstract and the human. He has been developing this visual language for his whole career as a ceramic artist. This language is revealed in the imagery, texture, and structures that Kenney conjures out of clay and glaze. They are statements about color, movement, and emotion. These unique visions are clay canvases that convey Kenney's unique vision of ceramic expression. It is an abstract vision, reminiscent of Kandinsky and Pollack, yet totally original, and not at all derivative. It is a statement that revels in spatial and compositional ambiguities, visual beauty, emotional impact, and intellectual stimulation that goes far beyond pictorial depictions into another realm. This is a realm of pure delight in the alchemy of clay, chemistry, spectrum, shape, thought, feeling, and spirit. A realm that celebrates their transformation by fire into visual, ceramic poetry, that is tangible and substantive.
In an interview on May 29, 2008 Kenney adamantly stated that he wants each piece to be unique and says, "I take chances trying to make new art out of each piece. For example, I am always making a new underglaze color by adding to former colors, the new surprising colors are created this way" This eye to the unique is inherently burned into each and every piece he creates. Watching him at work in the studio, you can see that he is also an original, a maverick. His approach is intense, and deliberate, and yet there is the element of fire, of improvisation, of unexpected movement expressed in his use of texture, glaze, and composition.