While the art world is currently entranced with the hype and excitement surrounding the stunning art and prominent galleries comprising Art Basel’s annual Miami Beach event, the fair itself is just one of the beach’s many art-centric sites to check out this December. In addition to outdoor installations and satellite fairs, myriad pop-up exhibitions are materializing across Miami Beach, helping to kick off Miami Art Week and heightening the city’s current cultural buzz. One of these pop-up exhibitions, Smell the Magic (presented by Spinello Projects) has emerged in the heart of Miami and features the captivating paintings of contemporary artist Kris Knight.
Based in Toronto, Knight paints enchanting portraits of disenchanted figures. Exploring provocative themes that span sexuality, juvenescence, and issues of identity, the artist constantly addresses the inherent dialogue between imaginative fantasy and real-life existence. This innate interest in contradiction is present throughout much of the work presented in Smell the Magic, as his paintings “tiptoe between the dichotomies of pretty and menace, hunter and hunted, innocence and the erotic.”
While aesthetically modern, embedded within Knight’s paintings are “historical notions of regality, mysticism, romanticism and symbolism.” Though his subjects are classically posed and realistically rendered, their ghostly complexions and ambiguous personas reflect the artist’s tendency toward a more experimental and offbeat approach.
Rooted in juxtaposition and undeniably evocative of the past, Knight’s surreal, pastel paintings offer a beautifully modern twist on traditional portraiture.
See the eccentric paintings for yourself! Smell the Magic is on view now through December 15 at Spinello Projects Pop-Up (95 NE 40th Street) in the Miami Design District!