Kennedy Yanko is an artist based in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She works in wood, metal, marble and acrylic, exposing dualities by juxtaposing these elements. Her multi-media genre showcases materials' natural tendencies and encourages their innate modes of expression.
Kennedy is in constant search of new possibilities and frameworks for her signature paint skins. In her more recent exploration, intuition has pushed her towards different media; she's since turned to protector-textures (metal, rock), and found objects, embracing them for their simultaneous qualities of strength and natural erosion—deterioration. By contrasting the malleable character of paint skins with hard metals and more enduring objects like marble, Kennedy asks viewers to specifically question the ephemeral nature of material pursuits, as well as their organic dualities. The pieces shown here are from her initial investigation into a body of work now referred to as, "Elements and Skin."
Kennedy Yanko is a sculptor whose practice is built upon paradox. Her work addresses how human perception and societal expectation are often in conflict with each other. Yanko alternates between intuitive systems and physically rigorous material processes to produce her work. Her current work investigates the bodily and human relationship to industrial materials, in which she insists on viewing as objects from nature. Yanko’s practice exemplifies a form of meditation between the natural and man-made world.
The artist hand selects metal and other materials such as marble from salvage yards, breaking into the discarded material’s life cycle. These objects are viewed as transitory, moving away from the realm of the man-made and back into a state of nature. Through shamanic-like interpretation, Yanko employs a call-and-response between the visible histories of these objects and her body’s ability to interact, reposition and alter the materials. Her sculpture challenges these object’s given identities through the process of recontextualization - not by changing the materials themselves but by changing the platform by which they are perceived.
Movements of the artist’s body are integral to the creation of the paint skins. The dispersive nature of the fluid medium connects to bodily processes. Color is treated as a material, as the liquid paint is poured, dispersed and pigments combined. The banding and striation of colors mimic geological processes and promote a discourse with the worn surfaces of the repurposed metal. Responding to the varied metal material, the malleable skins and are folded and slumped to alter the existing structure. This visceral interaction with latex paint has inspired Yanko to meaningfully combine other materials into her work, and has most recently prompted her investigation into metal-based work.
A dichotomy exists within her process as she combines working in metal with pouring, peeling and shaping of paint skins. Execution of Yanko’s metal work requires endurance, care and precision--which differ from the trance-like experience of working with malleable skins. By juxtaposing paint skins with natural elements like marble, metal and wood, Yanko challenges our associations and expectations of the material presented.