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 Ken Marlow  (1960 - )

About: Ken Marlow
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: super real still life, portrait and figure painting

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Ken Marlow
An example of work by Ken Marlow
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Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries (Artists, E-O):
Born into an Air Force family in 1960, Ken Marlow was able to pursue his passion for painting and drawing wherever his transient childhood took him. At the age of ten he attended his first "formal" painting course in an art supply store in Dayton, Ohio, and from that point forward knew that he wanted to be an artist.

Marlow possesses a unique talent that enables him to convert ordinary, inanimate objects into living, vibrant forms in his still life paintings. His opalescent onions and mature, glistening plums seem to exude the sweet smell of ripeness. One can detect the beginnings of age in slight spots of discoloration and hints of depression in the red translucent skin of his bartlett pears and the crackling, luminous surface of his shallots.

Linked in general to the western tradition of still life painting and in particular to Dutch artist Jan van Huysum (1682-1749) and French master Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1699-1779), Marlow captures the individuality and unique beauty of each item, whether elegant or humble. His true gift lies in his observation and appreciation of that which an ordinary eye might overlook. His attention to detail and use of natural light crystallize his images, bathing them in color. "I feel sometimes as if I'm hyper - aware of color," the artist says.

Carnations and delphiniums, blue grapes and pomegranates, antique linens and candy molds and pears on a tin box -- all are bathed in a unique light and painted with extraordinary sensitivity. Dictated in part by the seasons, Marlow's choice of subjects reflects his appreciation for beautiful objects and the play of light on them.

Marlow trained with the figurative painter Danni Dawson and George Washington University artist Frank Wright. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed with Nelson Shanks at Springdale, Shanks's studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania. In 1982, Marlow graduated from Yale University with an History of Art degree.

Both a figurative and still life painter, Marlow has done commissions for former Episcopal bishop of the United States John Allin, and Judith Terra, wife of the former US Cultural ambassador to Europe, David Terra among others. He has exhibited at the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, DC. In 1985 he won first prize in the "American Artist's National Art Competition," beating nearly 6,000 entrants from all over the United States, and in 1987 he earned a purchase grant from the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in New York. Marlow also taught figure and portrait painting at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia.



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