What can you say of a man who, as a toddler, began drawing even before he could speak! Yes, Kevin Champeny is that prodigy, who declares, “Art was something I always felt compelled to create.”
Kevin is no ordinary artist, he is a master of mosaics. Mosiac, a complex art form, dates back for more than 20 centuries. In the past, small pebbles, stones, shells, glass and other natural materials were used to create such mosaics. But today, a lot of artificially created material, such as plastics, urethane, ceramics, chips are being used.
Kevin individually casts urethane figures and other objects, like hot wheels cars, coloured fish, candy, flowers, and the like in his incredible mosaics. One look at Kevin’s mosaics is enough for one to gauge the painstaking work that has gone into creating them. It’s really hard to believe that before these objects were put together they were just a pile of plastic!
Says he, “ I create a style of work that blurs the lines between photography, painting and sculpting. Mosaics enable me to elicit the tension and stories between hand-sculpted and cast pixels and the overall image they compose. I want my art to open a conversation for the viewer. I hope people discovering and viewing my pieces will connect their own experiences to the choices I made when creating the work.”
However, creating mosaics is no quick art. It takes Kevin several months to create his larger works that may involve up to 50,000 tiny objects. And he aesthetically places each one of these objects by hand! What’s more, he doesn’t paint but casts his silicone moulds using polyurethane resins of varying hues. These are then meticulously glued piece-by-piece to the surface.
Born and raised in Beloit, Wisconsin, US, Kevin, as a child, displayed unusual interest in drawing. It was no surprise that when he grew up he decided to pursue art. He graduated with a BA in Studio Art from Beloit College, where he studied Art History and Education.
Moving to New York City right after graduating, Kevin landed jobs that involved some form of art that ranged from designing, painting and sculpting. He has been a professional sculptor for the last 17 years. He drew his inspiration from renowned artists and sculptors Chuck Close, Kris Kuksi and MC Escher. It was the art of these master creatives that influenced him.
He also contributed his art to companies like Belvedere Vodka, Disney, Lenox, Patron Tequila and Warner Brothers. Top brands in perfumery, such as Calvin Klein, DKNY, Polo and numerous others also commissioned him for some original work. What’s more, he also had a tenure at the White House, where he designed and created President Obama’s cereal bowl. However, in most of this, he remained behind the scene.
Kevin is now settled in Long Island, New York, where he does creative work for museums, private collectors and art galleries. He found fame when his work was included in various exhibitions in the US and overseas and featured on many television shows. He enjoys a sizeable following on the social media too.