This week, Work on Monday examines an expressive painting by Patchogue artist and East End regular Kenneth Ian Husband. This scratched, scraped and battered piece of art, titled “Home,” reflects the fragile emotions of its creator and the gravity of its painful subject, while at the same time displaying an intuitive, loose technique that is perfect for the matter at hand.
Kenneth Ian Husband (b. 1980)
Mixed media/oil/aerosol/acrylic on canvas
32 x 20 inches, 2014
With “Home,” Husband tackles head-on the long and painful saga of losing his family home after it shifted from its foundation during the tempest of Superstorm Sandy. For nearly two years, Husband has lived, with his father and grandfather (who died recently), in a camper just outside the doors of their damaged house while they await bogged down insurance payouts or federal assistance. Through violent strokes and mark making—with what appears to any materials at hand—Husband depicts this absurd situation of being forced to camp outside his own home.
Whether “Home” was actually painted with sticks, damaged brushes and other less-than-ideal tools, it has the appearance of something that was created using whatever the artist could scrounge. And that aesthetic lends itself beautifully to the work, considering its narrative. The painting is conflicted, as it quite clearly communicates Husband’s angst and struggle, but it also calls forth a sense of triumph and proof that, against all odds, the artist has picked up the pieces of his wounded, broken world and made something beautiful and poignant.
Unfortunately, “Home” also marks the end of Husband’s time calling Patchogue home. Later this month, with the help of Tim Bishop, the artist and his father will finally receive a buyout for their broken house and he intends to relocate to Pennsylvania when all is said and done.
To commemorate this massive life change, and to celebrate the end of a productive two years of painting, Husband will be showing “Home” and a number of other works at Circa Something Fine Art (117A South Country Road) in Bellport. The show, Passenger, which includes a complete reconstruction of his ramshackle “shed” studio, opens this Friday, August 8 (reception from 6–9 p.m.) and it will remain on view through September 15. Visit circasomething.com or call 631-803-6706 for more info.
Work on Monday is a weekly look at one piece of art related to the East End, usually by a Hamptons or North Fork artist, living or dead, created in any kind of media. Join the conversation by posting your thoughts in the comments below and email suggestions for a future Work on Monday here.