Kris Knight is a Canadian artist whose paintings puncture the membrane between dream and reality, historical and contemporary, light and dark. Within their apparent ambiguity, Knight’s sensitive portraits of men are an evocative combination of romanticism and nostalgia, exploring notions of performance in both an everyday and theatrical dimension. His pastel and tonal oil paintings conjure a series of shifting moods, themes and experiences that are connected by the use of pattern work, florals and a wide range of positions regarding the private and public self. Some works are dark and melancholic; others are tinged with notes of humour and sensuality, sweetness, elegance and light. Knight is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU) and has exhibited internationally over the last decade with solo exhibitions in Toronto, New York, Miami and Paris.

About the project

"Lately I’ve been really inspired by the Victorians and their obsession with wellness during the peak of Tuberculosis and finding connective social patterns to the current global pandemic we are dealing with. Plants became a fascination and gardening, much like a visit to the sea, became a medically prescribed escape. This national obsession with all things botanical went so far as to create a language of flowers, ascribing meaning to each type known as the fad of Floriography - a notion I often use utilise in my portrait paintings. During this time dark blooms became much desired and entire gardens were dedicated to these sought after dark blossoms and foliage. For this project I wanted to pay homage to the Victorian black garden by creating a loose pattern of black pansies (Viola Bowles Black) representing floral symbolism: mysticism, sorrow and the yearning for everlasting love."

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