Articles and Reviews
Bibliography article icon

2018 "Indigestion" Portland Press Herald review by Dan Kany

Bibliography article icon

2017 "Lines of Thought" Portland Press Herald review by Dan Kany

Bibliography article icon

2016 "The Promise of Tomorrow" Republican Journal review by Ethan Andrews

Bibliography article icon

2016 "Like There's No Tomorrow" and "The Promise of Tomorrow" Pen Bay Pilot review by Kay Stephens

Bibliography article icon

2015 "Flood" Seasick Magazine / Hurricane season issue review by Narciso Philistratus

Bibliography article icon

2014 Artvoices Magazine 7th Annual Winter Basel Issue interview by Ellen Caldwelll

Bibliography article icon

2014 "Parabellum" Portland Press Herald review by Dan Kany

Bibliography article icon

2014 "Parabellum" Art New England review by Carl Little

Bibliography article icon

2014 "Parabellum" Portland Press Herald review by Bob Keyes

Bibliography article icon

2014 "Parabellum" Artscope review by Suzanne Volmer

Bibliography article icon

2013 "Distress" Interview by Lisa Agostini

Bibliography article icon

2012 "CMCA Biennial Exhibition" Artscope review by Suzanne Volmer

Bibliography article icon

2012 "As High As Heaven" catalogue essay by Freddy LaFage and Karen McDonald

Bibliography article icon

2011 "Gold, God, Guns and Girls" catalogue essay by Nicholas Schroeder

Bibliography article icon

2010 "The Hellfire Story" Portland Phoenix review by Nicholas Schroeder

Bibliography article icon

2010 "The Hellfire Story" essay by Al Crichton

Books and Catalogues
Bibliography catalog icon

2013 "Distress" image catalog with interview

Bibliography catalog icon

2012 "As High As Heaven" image catalogue with essay

Bibliography catalog icon

2011 "Darfur at Our Doorstep" image catalog

Bibliography catalog icon

2011 "Gold, God, Guns and Girls" image catalogue with essay

Bibliography catalog icon

2010 "The Hellfire Story" image catalogue with essay

Selected Website Listings
Bibliography external website link icon

2019 Interview/blog post with "Gallery Closed" artists, Kenny Cole, Geoff Hargadon, Paula Lalala and Brian Reeves

Bibliography external website link icon

2016 "The Promise of Tomorrow" Republican Journal review by Ethan Andrews

Bibliography external website link icon

2015 "Flood" The Chart review by Jeffrey Ackerman

Bibliography external website link icon

2014 "Monhegan: The Unfailing Muse" review by Britta Konau

Bibliography external website link icon

2014 "Parabellum" Portland Press Herald review by Dan Kany

Bibliography external website link icon

2014 "Parabellum" Portland Press Herald review by Bob Keyes with video

Bibliography external website link icon

2009 Thoughts by "The Owl Who Laughs" Poet Chris Crittenden's blog

Kenny Cole, Citizen-Artist

In colonial America, the concept of the citizen-soldier was borne of the conviction that the defense of a nation is best ensured by its citizens. Implicit is a certain moral obligation to act on behalf of community well being, with the effect of keeping tyranny and corruption in check. It is in this spirit that Kenny Cole makes his art.
Kenny’s art is relevant to our world, our time, and our situation. The pandemonium of words, numbers, and images available on the Internet today can settle like a fog that obscures more than it reveals. This chaos is Kenny’s territory. He casts an unflinching eye on the world’s ills, and his hand does not waver in exposing what has been concealed and giving merit to what has been ignored. Like the world it reflects, his work is stunning in its complexity, mystifying in its randomness, and rewarding to those with the patience to sift through it all.
Kenny is restless and indefatigable in his pursuit. He is steadfast in maintaining a daily art practice and relentless in dispersing his work before the public eye, using all means at hand, from multiple Internet venues to art actions to any manner of exhibition space. His vision is clear, and his directness in both subject matter and technique reinforces that clarity. It takes courage to endeavor so much in creating art.
With his current body of work, “As High as Heaven”, for the first time in decades, rather than rendering in ink and gouache on paper, Kenny has chosen to create large-scale paintings on canvas. Though he pointedly chooses a vehicle traditionally considered to carry more weight, he also subverts convention, making two-sided paintings, hung with hinges, meant to be handled by the viewer, in order to take in both sides. On the back sides of the paintings--a place the viewer is usually not allowed to see--the recesses between the stretcher bars are drawn upon and sculpted, holding images and text executed in ink and gouache, sometimes over paper mâché bulges, sometimes under clear plastic packaging. Though front and back content are only loosely related, his method suggests we should search beyond the surface when dealing with the complex issues he presents.
We can be thankful that Kenny Cole soldiers on, revealing uncomfortable truths that many of us would rather ignore. His images are potent reminders of the complexities of society and the trade-offs we make to sustain our way of life. With its colorful, loopy style and amusing juxtapositions, Kenny’s work amiably draws us in. Though in time, we come to realize that he is alerting us to undeniable horrors and that we might be complicit in them. Therein lies its power, as well as seeds for change.

Freddy Lafage and Karen McDonald
February 2012

2012 "As High As Heaven" catalogue essay by Freddy LaFage and Karen McDonald