Americana #18, Carolina Parakeet

Image of Americana #18, Carolina Parakeet, by Kevin Veara, acrylic on panel, 2015.
by Kevin Veara, acrylic on panel, 2015

Like naturalist illustrations on steroids, Kevin Veara's paintings contain the precision and crisp detail found in John J. Audubon prints but without Audubon's formulaic natural settings. Veara surrounds his birds in exotically-colored patterned environments, bringing to mind the way contemporary painter Kehinde Wiley employs highly-stylized patterning as wallpaper that surrounds his figural paintings in order to critique Western Art history and obliterate cultural boundaries. Veara’s patterns, however, comment on environmental issues like invasive species, bio-genetic engineering, and threats to native ecosystems and native bird populations. His patterns are magical, realist inventions populated by writhing vines or fluorescent flowers that glow with internal light. These botanicals are derived from local species and a fertile imagination—beautiful, spectacular, fierce, and menacing all at once.

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