Essays

Ken Kaminski - Commentary

by Mona Molarsky
© 2015 NYC

Ken Kaminski’s paintings explode with texture and color. Reds and yellows slash across blue-black and purple grounds. Even the surface of the paint appears flayed. At first, these compelling works seem descended from the Abstract Expressionist tradition of painters like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Then another dimension emerges. The thickly impastoed rectangles, parallelograms and squares coalesce, and we realize with a shock that we’re looking at the facades of two buildings we remember only too well.

For more than ten years Kaminski has been painting images of the World Trade Center and the terrible events of September 11, 2001. In these works, the Twin Towers often stand like mortally wounded figures, teetering on their foundations or crumpling under brutal body blows, spurting red, viscous substances. History tells us combusting fuel roared through the towers, but in these paintings it seems more like human blood.     Read more...


Ken Kaminski - Commentary

By John Mendelsohn

How to paint a catastrophe has always been one of the challenges faced by artists. History painting is not just the art of memorializing battles and massacres, victories and surrenders. It is also the projection of the mind and heart of the painter into an event, and a way of making sense of the vast and impersonal storms of history.

In the art of Kenneth Kaminski, we see a contemporary reflection of history painting's evocation of a significant moment, but with his own personal and impassioned perspective. The September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and its emotional aftermath is at the core of the artist's work. He has created a series of paintings that depict the Twin Towers, the moment of impact, and the subsequent destruction. More than a replaying of media images, Kaminski documents his own responses in a bold symbolic and painterly language.     Read more...


Tom McManus Commentary 1991

by Tom McManus
© 1991 Chicago, IL

Kenneth Kaminski’s work is a fusion of photographs, paint and sculptural elements. His current technique has been ten years in the formation. Kaminski has worked effectively with each medium separately, but found that combining the three has given him the greatest latitude to express his creative vision. The melding of these materials provides thought provoking social commentaries on today’s continually changing political and social structures.     Read more...


THINGS ARE DIFFERENT: THE ART OF KEN KAMINSKI

By Dominique Nahas
© 2013 All rights reserved

Over more than a decade Ken Kaminski has used the 9/11 disaster in his work as trigger and a catalyst for his own ruminations on difference and time and his own awareness of the interplay between both. The artist's aestheticized references to the 9/11 calamity and its aftermath in the United States and abroad invokes historical, political and social consciousness. Those references also provides near-instant accessibility to the viewer through Kaminski's use in his visual work of what one might call neo-Pop shorthand. Yet Kaminski's artwork embodies a vigor and freshness that bespeaks his exploratory attitude towards memory, trauma and its impact on a personal and societal level. There are lots of levels to this art. I cannot help but think that Kurt Vonnegut's wise words in Breakfast of Champions pertain to the cultural work that Ken Kaminski has assigned himself: " ...there is no order in the world around us...we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done..."     Read more...