San Francisco artist Kenney Mencher has put together a unique show featuring paintings and assemblages now showing at the ArtHaus Gallery in San Francisco. Using the reach of the Internet, Mencher created the exhibit from an Internet blogging project where he painted or sketched a series of portraits inspired from vintage portrait photographs. In Mencher’s blogging project for each of his portraits, he challenged writers to submit a short piece of fiction of one thousand words or less to compete to win an original work of art. The authors chosen included a motley mix of talent including a mystery writer, an author of PulpFest fame, a Dreamworks animator/cartoonist and other interesting personalities.
In Renovated Reputations, Mencher’s realist paintings have the mark of a masterful portrait artist – one who depicts people from a bygone age with gazes that still directly engage the modern-day viewer. Evoking memories from the past long forgotten, the assemblages are an amalgamation of ephemera, sketches and portrait paintings. Mencher exercises a refined sense of balance and restraint on a subject matter, vintage images, which is difficult to execute without bearing traces of over-sentimentality
The result of Mencher’s blogging project is the exhibit, Renovated Reputations, as well as a limited edition book, available at the ArtHaus Gallery or the artist’s website. Renovated Reputations is at the ArtHaus Gallery in San Francisco through June 25th 2011.