Michael Kast’s abstract paintings each represent his emotional state at the time he painted them, and he is going to be sharing how these emotions turned into art in the next show at the Quesnel Art Gallery.
Kast, who is from Prince George, opens his first show in Quesnel, called Emotional Abstracts, today (Friday, June 28). The works that will hang in the Quesnel Art Gallery for the next month are primarily acrylics.
“Each piece represents where I was emotionally at that particular time, so what I was feeling, so each piece is kind of unique to a timeframe, so I can’t really say [that one piece is my favourite],” he said.
“I have one piece called Smoke that I really, really enjoy, but other than that, most of them, the viewer will be able to see my own evolution in abstract painting.”
Kast has been an artist for a long time but really started taking his art seriously a couple of years ago.
He was doing photography from the time he was 16.
“Even in the darkroom, I was experimenting with different ways to print an image,” he said.
As far as painting goes, he says when he was an Artist in Residence for the Community Arts Council in Prince George in 2017-18, he started getting more serious about it.
“I’m rather introverted, so I made a decision that particular year that I needed to make some changes and I wanted to connect with my community, with my peers, more and put myself out there and get outside of my comfort zone,” he said. “It was not so much a New Year’s Resolution as it was a New Year’s promise to myself to do these things, and I thought to myself ‘I’m going to apply that year, 2017 because the worst, I’ve learned over the years as an artist and a creator that the worst people can say is they don’t like it or no, and that’s OK.’ And so I applied for the position.”
Kast also does more commercial digital work, and he is bringing some of that work for the showcase display at the Art Gallery, such as digital watercolours and animals.
Kast says Jackson Pollock is one of his biggest influences as far as abstract art, although he says his work looks nothing like Pollock’s, and he says he is also very influenced by an artist in Portugal named Carla Sa Fernandes.
“I emulate her stuff; I just love it,” he said. “When you see my work, you can see her influence in my work for sure.”
Earlier this week, Kast said he has 16 pieces in the show, for sure. He has been working on a number of these piece since he was the Artist in Residence.
“When I started this abstract thing, it was an expression of where I was emotionally at that particular time, and I can see the change in my own style over the last year and a half,” he said.
Kast was in Quesnel Thursday to install his works, and he will be here for the Opening Friday (June 28) from 7-9 p.m.
“Abstract art is more than just flinging paint at the wall or the floor, and I’m not on a crusade, but I’d love to change people’s minds,” he said. “People have this idea in their mind of what abstract art is, and I want to share.”
Emotional Abstracts runs June 28 to July 27 at the Quesnel Art Gallery. For more information about this and other local art shows, visit quesenlartgallery.com.
— with files from Heather Norman