When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Paul Fenniak

Sleepwalker   2012   Triptych - Each panel  54" x 24"

"Parachutist"   2011   72"X60"

"Offshore"   2011   72"X60"

"Cold Front"   2011   54"X48"
"Portrait with Light Switch"   2011   24"X20"
This is the kind of painting that made me want to be an artist when I was a kid: full of energy and life, beautifully executed, and just off kilter enough to be absolutely mesmerizing. Some of it makes me think of Odd Nerdrum with a sense of humor, or an early Lucian Freud who gets outside a bit more. There's all kinds of comparisons that spring to my mind but none that really strike home, for the work is idiomatic and the idiom is all Paul Fenniak. The painting is traditional but richly so, and beautifully handled. It lends a depth and luminosity to his somewhat whimsical drawing style. And both of these serve to give an uncanny power to his antic narratives, narratives that seem to cross all kinds of emotional and physical states: disquiet, calm, urgency, pathos, humor, the spiritual, the inane. These are not scenes from real life of course. They're intensely contrived, often bordering on the absurd or the surreal, but as in any form of art, from fiction to film, it is not always realism that best reflects how it really feels to be alive.
There's much more to look at on his website: www.paulfenniak.com
and the work at his gallery (forumgallery.com) has a very nice detail viewer that allows you to scroll over the work and get a close up view of every part of the painting. Well worth it!


  1. Yes Paul Fenniak is an enigma. Here are his paintings...but there is very little on the man himself and his methodology. There are very few articles about him, his influences, his muse, his process, and so on....He lives in Montreal...but works and works...does no classes, rarely offers glimpses into who he is. I have always been totally in awe of his work...and find him a wonderful inspiration. It would be wonderful if you would do an interview with him...or at least find out more about his method and approach to painting. Thanks for posting this...he should be more well known in the world. (P.S. There are many really awesome painters up here in Canada. Another to take a look at is Fabian Jean, also from Montreal.)

  2. Thanks for the comment. interesting. I can certainly sympathize with some anonymity. I have posted a lot of Canadian artists in the past. I find they are less adverse to realism and narrative than most artists south of the border. I posted Fabain Jean's work quite recently.

  3. Thanks for considering...unable to link to the fabain Jean link you posted...does not come up at all. Yes...he is an interesting artist as well...among many others. Great site...thanks for all of your hard work and dedication ...have been introduced to many artists I may have otherwise never heard off...Thanks.