KRIS KNIGHT "DAUPHIN" OIL ON PAPER, 2009
Kris Knight (b. 1980) is a celebrated contemporary Canadian painter, best known for his transformative portraits that portray queerness and masculinity from a nuanced and tender perspective.
Knight's work is acclaimed for his distinct portrayal of masculinity realized with his signature perspective that is wistful, tender and romantic. At the onset of his career he was particularly influenced by French portraiture of the 17th century, an era where the subjects would often be depicted in heavy white make-up giving the illusion of translucent skin tones.
This early work is paradigm of Knight's ability to fuse historical / Baroque elements and references with the contemporary. At first glance it is ambiguous which era this young man exists in. His fur coat and mysterious floral crown suggest he could be from a Shakespearean fantasy or an ancient Nordic fable. But upon closer inspection we see that this young man is wearing Adidas track pants, which gently peak out from the lower edge of the composition.
Like the best of Knight's portraits, "Dauphin" invites the viewer to create a narrative about this mysterious prince. "Dauphin" is a french term for the eldest son of France's King that was used for almost 500 years until the fall of the monarchy.
Knight's portraits, whether created from his imagination or based on models in his life, have an element of vulnerability and mystery. The scenes are somewhat cinematic, inviting the viewer to construct a narrative about the subject and to delve into their psyche.
Note: The proceeds from this sale will be donated to Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, a historic cultural hub in Toronto renowned for its role in cultivating and showcasing queer voices and stories on the stage since 1978
In February 2024, Knight's work will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Spinello Projects in Miami, FL. His work is represented in numerous private collections across Europe and North America.
Visit our Toronto gallery on Thursdays or by appointment.
Oil on prepared paper
14"H 11"W (work)
21.25"H 17.25"W (framed)
Very good condition.
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