Essay on Ticket to Ride’, Kidnapped, Dan Kennedy, Oil on Canvas

Submitted By Ironfoundersson
Words: 574
Pages: 3

The exhibition ‘Ticket to Ride’ attempts to illustrate the joy and noise of a carnival or circus. However the exhibit also operates on a darker level. The concept of the circus being a reflection of society, but inversed, is clearly illustrated in the paintings of Dan Kennedy. His paintings abound with cryptic partial phrases and half-finished visual ideas. He perfectly reflects the illusionary and cathartic aspects of the circus, while also pointing out, with clarity, the way the circus operates on the peripheries, from the outside looking in. In Kennedy’s Kidnapped, he makes extensive use of variety and movement to demonstrate the chaotic and exciting nature of a carnival. In Kidnapped, as in all of Kennedy’s works at ‘Ticket to Ride’, there is so much action and variety that the eye cannot possibly grow weary of examining the painting. Kennedy has no blank space; every inch of canvas is being used. Hand in hand with Kidnapped’s variety is the movement that Kennedy creates. The way he creates miniature scenes gives the impression of a comic book. Every idea is incomplete, and moves or overlaps with another idea. This movement and overlap gives a strong feeling of excitement and lends a sense of urgency to the piece. However Kennedy purposefully neglects harmony and perspective, sacrificing the two for the incredible variety and movement he creates instead. The lack harmony or perspective emphasizes the busy and chaotic nature of the carnival, and by association, the painting. Through this apparent chaos Kennedy still manages to achieve balance by using similarly sized shapes, arranged alongside the cryptic words or phrases to create a rough equilibrium. With the chaotic, busy description above, one would assume that Kidnapped is also bright and joyous in appearance. It is quite the opposite. In black and white Kidnapped would appear busy and joyous; however the colour choice that Dan Kennedy uses is dark, and even pungent. Kidnapped has strong colour value, progressing from (left to right) midnight blues, then on to pink and orange, then to light greens, moving into midnight blues and dark greens on the far right. Kennedy uses practically every colour on the colour wheel, however he…