MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2012
Artist StatementI have worked in a variety of media from photography to steel sculpture, oil painting to assemblage. And yet, when looking at my work, a consistency of nature and inspiration is evident. Intriguing imagery and the illusion of space are my objectives in the creation of my Digital Image and Pigment work. These wall panels are formed from aluminum or steel to create a metal canvas to which I apply images. The imagery is personal photos digitally manipulated and printed on several different transparent media. The images are adhered to the metal canvas along with other media; paint, gold leaf, paper, or wood. I often choose my subject by “mining” old snapshots and slides for images or partial images that tell more of a story that the original intention of the photograph. Often, the look of the subject, their clothing, or someone else, unintentionally caught in the picture at the moment of the shutter release, is enough to spark an idea. As the image evolves I make changes to meanings by including other similar images, reversed overlays of the same image or some text describing a feeling or moment in the subject’s life. My new portrait series uses photos I’ve taken of friends or family to begin the work. Heavy digital manipulation and separately layered output create depth in the image when applied to my aluminum canvas. Before exhibiting this work I created paintings on steel using chemical patinas and image layers. Since 1990 I have worked with my wife Julie designing and making modern functional furniture and home accessories from steel. Kens work is collected throughout the US and is in the permanent collection of the US Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.
Biography and Statistics: I have been an artist for more than 35 years. Exchange student to Sendai, Japan 1975 Degree: Advertising 1980; Pennsylvania State University Married Education: Engineering, Painting and Photography; Pennsylvania State University Painting: Moyer Studio; Al Wynn Studio; Colorado College; Univ. of Maryland Metal sculpture: University of Maryland; Anderson Ranch Arts Center Printmaking: Michael Vigil Studio Fused and Slumped Glass: Bullseye Connection Gallery Occupations: US Air Force officer: 1981- 1986; NORAD Space Defense Analyst; Space Sciences Instructor. Presentation production officer. Computer Sciences Corp.: 1986-1993; Data Analyst, Space Shuttle mission support team, Facilities management team. Girardini Fine Art and Design: 1989-Present; Functional steel design for the home, Steel sculpture, Patina and Photography on steel and aluminum, Oil painting. Exhibitions: Fine Art/Craft Shows: Work created and produced with my wife Julie Girardini (Selected) American Craft Council shows: Baltimore since 1982 Atlanta since 1981 St. Paul, Charlotte and San Francisco Crafts America: Washington Craft Show since 1983 West Chester and West Palm Beach Shows Kansas City: Plaza Art Fair 2002 -2004 St. Louis Art Fair 2002- 2004 American Craft Exposition Show: Evanston, IL 2004 - 2009 Galleries: (Selected) Margaret Smith Gallery: Exhibiting artist 1988 – 1995 Allegheny Arts Council: 2-person show: 2001 Embassy of the United States, Ottawa Canada Permanent Collection Red Sky Gallery: Exhibiting Artist 2004-2006 Zenith Gallery: Exhibiting Artist 2004-2011 Awards: Recipient of Maryland State Art Grant 1995 and 2005 Selected to represent the State of Maryland in a 25th anniversary exhibit with sister city Kanagawa, Japan in 2007.