We meet artist Kyle Coniglio to discuss his paintings which have been described as 'fictional tellings based on authentic experiences'.
Naturally, this leads viewers to search for clues in his paintings to understand Coniglio as an artist, as a painter. A good starting point, as his recent solo exhibition title suggests is Last Summer. The title talks about the particular kind of warming nostalgia from memories of the past, and also Coniglio’s time spent on Fire Island.
Fire Island which is parallel to the south shore of Long Island, New York, has long been a haven to LQBTQ+ visitors and residents alike. The island, a utopian-like place that is bountiful with queerdom, offers social freedoms that are less experienced in the outside heteronormative world. The island provides a space to build a society around another set of values. There is the sexual context which is well documented, but Coniglio also places importance on friendship, and how it brings people together. Because of this queer framework in which interactions are less bounded by traditional notions – connections to each other are more fluid. In turn, feelings of the fevered nature come to the forefront such as rejection, insecurity, isolation and shame. It is within the context of expanded communal interactions that these challenging notions can be candidly embraced.
Orange, reds, blues, soft tans and even black –each portrait in the exhibition have different colours that are tied to a distinctive narrative. All the paintings together function to create a cast of characters and lexicon of emotional experiences. Characters wear briefs that are comfortably sculpted to their bodies, cut off shorts that are tailored around the waist to reveal lean legs, shirts that have been tied above the navel, or an epic combination: tote/beach/paint-brush bag that brings together queer, summer and artist modes of dress.
Kyle Coniglio has his MFA in painting from Yale University and a BFA from Montclair State University. He has been a fellow of the Queer Art Mentorship program in New York and an affiliated fellow at the American Academy in Rome. His work has been included in shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin. Conilgio had a solo exhibition with Taymour Grahne Projects, London, May 2022. Coniglio lives and works in Hoboken, New Jersey.
You can view images of Kyle's solo show at Taymour Grahne at this link: https://taymourgrahne.com/exhibitions/kyle-coniglio-last-summer
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