We learn about many artists who are already famous in art history. About their lives and works. Their recorded lives and paintings are great. To borrow a title of a artist's work, beg, endure, or become greater. People recorded in history will surely belong to the great side of the three. We encounter their lives and work indirectly through books, exhibitions or documentary films.
The gap between their lives and the lives of ordinary students of art colleges seem quite distant. It’s closer to the "enduring" side. It is a daily routine to wear a group jumper in an art room, where canvases are scattered in the corridor, eating delivery food. A nude croquis lesson in a workshop in the Art department under fluorescent light where there's a light-gray colored pillars, walls, and ventilators. Left over silver wrapping papers are flung down at the corner.
Kwon Neung mixes them up. It mixes the images of everyday scenes that ordinary Korean art students encounter and experience with the images of artists they learned in textbooks. Would Andy Warhol order Mac delivery while painting at night as well? If Van Gough had lived on his own, his place must’ve been very messy. Would Kusama Yayoi eat bubble tea in a cafe? Kwon Neung draws this light imagination intensely over a long period of time, and draws it as a realistic image with solid perfection. Would he envy or yearn for the famous artists who appeared in his work? Or does he want to emphasize that they are not so different from us. If not, does he feel a sort of amusing joy of delight to have the option to place them however he wants when drawing? I don't know exactly, but I think it's all three. It’s as if he’s saying, “You are as special as Kusama Yayoi” or Kusama Yayoi is as ordinary as you are.”
I don’t know what the future generation will call this time of era we live in, but art has evolved over and over again in the thesis-antithesis-synthesis paradigm of trend and I think it is a time of diversified value that is difficult to bind to one trend at present. 'In the midst of that, what kind of artworks do I have to do in Korea now and what kind of pictures should I draw'. Kwon Neung looks at the lives and work of the artits in history and to ponder the identity of himself as a artist. Then, few jokes are interpreted into the picture that could have been slightly sad or heavy.
The charm of Kwon Neung’s artwork seems to come from the reality of the extremely realistic subject and sense of realism of photograph. In fact, artists always carry their camera and take pictures for artwork, whether it is for business or pleasure. Like the artist, who says that art becomes daily life and daily life becomes art, he enjoys life really hard and works as hard as he enjoys. For him, extension of work is enjoyment, and extension of enjoyment is work. That's why I wonder how the work will change whenever his life changes. In fact, when he became a famous artist, I wondered in which direction the work would develop if there was no sense of difference between the background of his painting and the face of a famous artist. I am curious and looking forward to know what kind of work will be done when that happens.