“I have chosen to travel a path that allows me to go wherever the wind may blow. My images are the pebbles on this path...I merely ask one thing of them...SURPRISE ME!"
Ken Morgan grew up learning how to juggle, unicycle, flip, and defy gravity in a family of acrobats. His father was a long-time performer and passed on those skills to Ken and his siblings early on. Under the troupe name “The Al Morgan Family,” they traveled, performed and made it on to national television.
Despite being raised with a circus background, Ken knew at heart that he was an artist and not an acrobat, creating this distinction early on. “The art part of my book started early. The more color the better. The less familiar the most interesting.” Originally Ken’s art was influenced by the abstract expressionists he explored the world of Mark Rothko and Morris Louis. Here, in the realm of color field painting, he found inspiration and inquiry later on his circus experience would surface.. Of his art during this time he says, “I was finding my images like to roam and I was wishing to inject them with some new technology.”
“Be careful what you wish for..”
In 2008, Ken experienced a stroke which permanently altered his art making and mindset. His son bought him his first computer and friends set him up with photoshop. “I isolated myself with the intention of reinventing myself,” he shares. This was the moment he entered the fortuitous world of CGI - computer generated images which released him from his “signature style.”
His stroke opened a new world of thought as he began to re-conceptualize his art with a technology that allowed him to wander in place. As the effects of living with a stroke became a mental form of entrapment, his works allow escapism and respite for himself and the viewer. He calls his works “safe havens, mindscapes, places to play, places to ponder, momentary impossible realities.” For minds that are hard to control, his images represent mental journeys.
When Ken describes his art, he talks about reducing everything to its common denominator - a curve, an angle, a straight line, or combinations of the two. At this point in his life, he has reconciled his background and circus background as an influence. When describing his style, he talks about reducing everything to its common denominator, stripping away identity to “juggle, balance, levitate, defy gravity through simple line.”
His work is segmented into series which modify pre-existing shapes from one source image. The series “Roadways” and “Destinations” are examples of how Ken uses elements and shapes to create different compositions. Within a set structure, likened to the confines of the mind, he explores possibility within rigidity. His art thus encompasses his mental reality and calls to the viewer’s minds through a thematic serial approach.
Throughout his life as an artist, he has followed the quest of providing the viewer with “visual vitamins” - art as an aid for the mind and everyday life. At the computer, his fingertips transform his images with this goal.
Prints by Ken Morgan
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