When people ask Kim Keever what he does, he tells them he drops paint in water and then takes photographs.
Keever uses a 200-gallon aquarium to create his art and chooses from his now-80 strong collection of paints to do what he calls a “pour.” After the paint starts to fall, he has a quick 20 minutes to capture his images before the colors settle and turned muddy.
Represented by Waterhouse & Dodd gallery on Madison Avenue and 76th, Keever has made it as an artist with his work his sole livelihood for the last three years. Keeper creates large format prints of his compositions which, recently, have gotten more experimental.
He spent many years painting landscapes, and pushes that forward brought him his breakthrough of paint in water. The early pieces were more landscape-inspired but it’s more likely to see plaster heads or Keever’s new addition: the discovery of balloons.
“They tend to give it a whole new look,” said Keever.
Now combining his three years of experimental with the form coupled with the addition of balloons, Keever is creating another way of enchanting, ethereal visuals of delicate, shifting colors.
It’s the opposite of meditation. In meditation, you try to remove all thoughts. I allow all thoughts to come into my head. It’s a free flow of thought.
I always liked making art and in first grade I discovered compared to the other kids that I was really good at it. And my father told me you’ll starve as an artist, so I kinda of put it out of my mind. But I always continued to make art.
I ended up going through engineering school no less, and graduating and getting most of my masters degree in engineering before I realized that art is what I really want to do for the rest of my life. Come hell or high water.
It finally dawned on me, paint in water would be perfect for, to suggest cloud forms. As light goes through water it diffuses differently than in air so you get a very different look.
So it really was the search an atmosphere that got me working with the water. That was really the biggest breakthrough in my life
It’s so random that I can add the colors in here and there. But after they fall they go their own way. I have no idea what is going to happen. And every time I shoot it is a whole different story.
I mean this to me, this is totally unpredictable. Blue coming to the front. The effects I think are great.
It becomes literally like a painting machine. I just jump back and take the photos.
Being an artist, in general, has made me a better person. It’s made me think about the world. It’s made me think about how to get along better with other people. I’m a much happier person than I used to be.
Contact: Tola Brennan