Kent Paulette

5d10b66fb34f7bd0834a0241df9131d7Kent Paulette is a self taught artist who uses uninhibited, energetic brush strokes and knife marks to create paintings with thick icing-like textures. Paulette lives in North Carolina where he paints in a studio overlooking the mountains. On nice days he grabs his easel and heads out to the deck to paint in the sunshine. He also regularly hops into the mountain creek in his backyard to help rejuvenate his spirit and senses.

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For Paulette, each painting is a gamble, a leap into the unknown, a wild ride of exploration and experimentation. He paints to figure things out, not to achieve a specific result. Unexpected or unintended outcomes are welcome; they offer openings through which new possibilities can be glimpsed, imagined, and developed. Paulette works to exploit these opportunities, continually pushing himself and his paintings beyond the boundaries of habit and into the realm of chance. “I try to give control over to a process that allows the painting to come to life organically. The painting is able to occur as an uninterrupted event subject to the whims of chance.”

“I try to apply the paint without hesitation or indecisiveness. These measures help to fend off the frustration and anxiety that may arise from any lingering tendency to control the outcome.”

I do not try to conceal the process, but rather let it be revealed to anyone who is drawn to a closer examination of the painting. The thick texture and visible knife marks proclaim exactly how the painting was created.

When Paulette is at work, paint flies everywhere; most of it, however, eventually finds its way onto the surface of the painting. The process is intense and exhilarating and seldom fails to capture the attention of onlookers. Over the past three years, Paulette has regularly painted live in front of spectators, allowing them to share in the fun and transforming his creative process from a private into a public activity. He has created videos of some of these events, including an appearance at last year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival, during which he painted Darrell Scott’s Guitar. Another video available on YouTube shows Paulette demonstrating his Ninja Splat technique while standing in a mountain creek, throwing paint at a canvas 8 feet away on the bank. In another scene the camera is placed behind an old glass window so that the paint flies straight toward the viewer and then splats on the window.

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The conceptual foundation for Paulette’s work can be traced to a number of different sources. For example, he has drawn particular inspiration from the artist Brion Gysin, known for his pioneering work with the “cut-up” method and for his

experiments with randomness and repetition. Music – from classic rock and folk to Afrobeat and experimental electronica – has long played a central role in Paulette’s creative process and in his understanding of form, pattern, and perception. He also draws insight and inspiration from a wide-ranging reading list that revolves around topics such as artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, theoretical physics, and advertising.

Paulette also emphasizes the important role played by his family. From an early age, his parents encouraged and applauded his artistic efforts and have continued to do so now that he paints full time. Creekside conversations with his brother Tate have also long been a source of inspiration for his art. Paulette’s closest friend throughout his teens and twenties was his little dog named Corky. You can see her little light shining in everything that Paulette creates.

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140 Azalea Circle
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