Ken Bailey: Deeper emotional connection with animals

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Ken Bailey: Deeper emotional connection with animals

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1953, Ken Bailey has painted most of his life andattendewd the University of Utah. In addition to being an artist, he has owned Bailey Nelson Gallery of Seattle, WA since 1987.

Cats and dogs are fantastic subjects. While they appeal to people who appreciate the graphic form and historical connotation, they also attract animal lovers who share an emotional connection. Ken Bailey uses cats and dogs as subject matter in his work for several reasons. He enjoys the variety of breeds from a technical standpoint, and finds them versatile subjects. However, his goal is not to paint a representational portrait, but to portray a deeper emotional connection that makes people laugh- reminding them of a loved friend.

In general, Bailey creates his work in three structures. The first is reminiscent of a vintage poster where the dog is the primary character. These pieces evoke the feeling of vintage advertising, and involve wit and humor. The second form contains the elements of dog dreams and fantasies. Usuallly two-part works, one section is representational of the animal while the other shows it doing something fantastic or unusual. Connected by thought bubbles, it is clear that the animal is dreaming of the extraordinary fantasy. The third structure is free form-depicting the dog by showing it in an act that summarizes his personality.

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