Alex Kanevsky, A.C. in Blue Bathroom, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″; courtesy J. Cacciola Gallery
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If a combination of John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins and Francis Bacon– that is to say, unerring expertise, stringent attention to anatomical detail and unseemly isolation– sounds intriguing, then Alex Kanevksy’s paintings fit the bill. His icy dioramas of displaced women supposedly take their inspiration from the Greek myth of Prosperine, but what really matters is an innate knack for oils. Whether he’s jabbing, scraping, slathering or dotting, Kanevsky’s got the touch–there ain’t nothin’he can’t do with the stuff. Like a lot of naturals, Kanevsky is a showoff and, as such, annoying most of the time. But just when you want to give him a dressing down, he sets off sparks–like with the slippery veils of gray and light green halo in A.C. in Blue Bathroom–at which point, you don’t begrudge his ego, you congratulate him for it.
© 2009 Mario Naves
Originally published in the May 2009 edition of City Arts.