Kendrick Corp makes paintings that expose the inherent contradictions of American masculinity. After a weekend that saw hundreds of violent chauvinists descend on our city, it is crucial that we take a critical look at what it means to identify as a man in America today. Kendrick's paintings are made "via a personally queer lens" and are full of throbbing erections, assault rifles, and men crying big tears. They are maximalist compositions that show the sorrow, lust, pain, joy, violence, and aggression of modern masculinity.
In True Love is Evident (2019) we see a cast of familiar Disney characters, all men, each with an arrow piercing their outstretched tongue. The big tears and arrows typify the pain of speaking vulnerabilities, but the joy in their eyes and the embrace between the Beast and Aladdin show the unparalleled trust and intimacy that happens when we share our emotional selves with others. It helps us see the difficulty and reward of being more tender men.
American Prometheus (a villain) (2018) takes its subject from the Greek myth of Prometheus, who created humans from clay, stole fire from the Gods for humans, and as a result was punished by being tied to a rock where every day an eagle would eat his liver. It is an update to Rubens masterful 1611 painting of the same scene. Here, on Prometheus' chest, is a cake with assault rifles firing out of it, making the case that the American version of Prometheus did not steal fire, but fire-power. As a nation we will continue to be tormented by regular mass shootings as punishment for flooding humanity with assault rifles.
Heaven (2018), on first glance, could be a wry joke about the divine afterlife including a hot stud on all fours. But it doubles as a serious consideration of the roles of lust and desire in our collective utopic visions. Not only could heaven include a tight ass and big dick, but also rose and heart printed wallpaper, a castle, and a flock of doves. Utopic visions, by their nature, are deeply personal, and this painting is no different. Throughout their work Kendrick aims to "consider what it means to love and/or be a man in the 21st century."
Kendrick Corp is an artist and author currently living and loving in Portland, Oregon. Follow along on Instagram to see what they get up to next! @2__spooky