Kenton Nelson was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He attended Long Beach State University and Otis Parsons Art Institute, and for the last 35 years has had his art studio in Pasadena, CA. He has been on the faculty of the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
Nelson traces his interest in painting back to his great uncle, Roberto Montenegro, renowned Mexican muralist and Modernist. The style of Nelson’s paintings have their origins in American Scene painting, Regionalism, and the work of the WPA artists of the 1930′s.
Nelson paints figures, landscape, and architecture bathed in light. The objective in his paintings is to idealize the ordinary with the intention of engagement, using the iconic symbols and styles of his lifetime in a theatrical style to make leading suggestions.
Nelson’s paintings have now been featured five times on the cover of The New Yorker magazine. Recent exhibitions of Nelson’s work have been enjoyed from Los Angeles to London, Vienna, and Zurich. His oil paintings of figures, objects, and architecture have, as one critic said, “single handedly resurrected the sun drenched optimism of New Deal American Painting.”
photo – Eric Minh Swenson