'Human Evolution' by Paul Kempe. Courtesy of GDCA Gallery and the artist.

Paul Kempe in “Allure” @ GDCA Gallery

August 30, 2019

Paul Kempe exhibiting at GDCA Gallery continues a demonstration of innocent imagination in contemporary Los Angeles fine art. His crude childish forms, however, aim for a deeper message than superficial contentment. Indeed, they reach for abstract expressions of the human spirit, coyly presented to welcome us into a new mythology.

 

Human Evolution (title image) is a positively cryptic chronology of cosmology wherein the human is integrated into a larger natural moment that is typically neglected in our everyday life. The marvel in the work is in the unity of abstract adolescent schooling concepts with a grander cosmic order of natural motion that ascends towards evolving human conscious experience. The rudimentary forms themselves suggest the permeation of the cosmos within the very perception of childhood. It is a consummate expression of the star stuff we are all made of; yet more appropriately – and commonly neglected among scientists – exceeds the anachronistic conception of matter by incorporating conscious thought into the cosmic experience and the time-evolution of human order. I suggest, further, that the mysterious dance of the abstract with the juvenile and primitive forms symbolize the bedrock on which our very animated world of civilized life rests upon; which is the furthest demarcation of the artist’s call for a proper orientation of our cosmic voyage through time, of a retained innocence, less we become dispassionately lost in space.

 

‘The Battle of the Cranium’ by Paul Kempe. Courtesy of the artist and GDCA gallery.

Mr. Kempe’s second work of equal encryption and fascination is The Battle of the Cranium. In this piece, there is an ethereal figuration of the mind separated from the body. No doubt there is a tension between the Cartesian Dualist imagery, yet it is an eloquent suggestion with the yet-again adolescent scoreboard concepts which shape the composition. It is a subtlety to assert the animated power of the mind, providing it with more anthropomorphism, is the “home” team; it asserts the battle lines are really drawn with combat with the uncontrollable forces of the animal spirit. Losing the battle, we can affirm, is a loss of the innocence in life; the heart of sacredness and the desire to fight the good fight.

 

In all, there is a mystique in Mr. Kempe’s works which, while admittedly imperceptible and slightly incohesive, demonstrates a positive originality in the spirited use of a childhood innocence in fine art.

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