Escape is truly at
hand for this Travelling Man
By Charmaine Ho
(oil on canvas, 1991). Kipping's paintings in Travelling Man
shed light on the artist's travel experiences.
Brian Kipping is a
unique and talented artist who draws inspiration from his travels throughout
Canada and parts of Europe.
Paintings of diners, street scenes and industrial sites are created from
Kipping's photographs of the urban world. He experiments with a variety
of canvases, paints, sizes and layouts. The strong use of light in Kipping's
work conveys a sense of atmosphere and allows viewers to place themselves
within the context of each painting.
The most distinct characteristic of Kipping's work is the absence of people;
only the natural elements found in the surrounding environment are used
Kipping does a brilliant job of convincing the viewer of the realistic
nature of his paintings. Stepping back from "Crossroads, Venice"
(oil on board, 1995), viewers can get a sense of visiting the alley themselves.
The calmness and stillness reflected in this painting are the defining
elements of the work. The use of texture and three-dimensional perspective
capture the alley exactly as it was seen through the lens of the camera.
The painting entitled, "Construction Diptych" (oil on linen
on board, 1999) is a still shot of an industrial site. The scene is detailed,
and through the use of tones and colour, the focus is placed on the foreground
action the actual construction. The city exists only as a background,
much like what Kipping would have seen through his travels a first
hand look at the action of the city.
The work "Street Scene" (oil on linen, 2002) is one of Kipping's
most recent works. It is here that his talent shines through in his master
manipulation of light. The work has a surreal aspect: the blurring of
colours in the painting leaves the viewer pondering the familiarity of
the scene, and the careful use of light creates an absence of time distinction.
Overall, Kipping's art is much like a snapshot series of his life's travels.
He can identify what all viewers have seen before and provide them with
a new perspective. Kipping's passion for detail makes him a true master
of the "hand-painted photograph."
Travelling Man is a worthwhile exhibit to catch and it may even awaken
the traveller inside the viewer. Kipping's work has also been displayed
in the Art Gallery of Ontario, the City of Toronto Archives and the Kamloops
Art Gallery in British Columbia.
Brian Kipping's Travelling Man is available for viewing at
the Michael Gibson Gallery (157 Carling St.) until Feb. 1.