Artist Interviews 2022
By Julia Siedenburg & Laura Siebold
I Exaggerate: MY BRUSHES WITH FAME
Kevin Nealon, a well-known American comedian and former cast member of Saturday Night Live, appeared in a special setting on December 8th, 2022.
He presented his first book “I EXXAGERATE - My Brushes with Fame”, a collection of caricatures of both friends and guests of Saturday Night Live he met throughout his career.
Art Squat was invited to attend the special opening night at Choice Contemporary Gallery in Brentwood, California.
Kevin’s guest list featured some well-known fellow comedians like Sarah Silverman and actors like Owen Wilson and Michael Keaton and even the famously infamous “Weird Al “ Yankovic.
We had the opportunity to talk to the owner of the gallery Ari Scott Goldman who told us about their opening in April of 2022 and the different artists they have showcased so far. Showings usually range between 1-2 ½ months.
One of the artists that they recently showcased is a familiar face: Kelly “RISK” Graval, who has three of his works still hanging in the back of the gallery. Ari also told us that RISK was scheduled to attend Kevin’s book release party, though we weren’t lucky enough to catch him.
Kevin’s caricatures are colorful, expressive, and real. Kevin seems to have real talent for exaggerating those body features his subjects are recognizable for. The depth of the features does suggest that Kevin really knows his subjects well.
He started working on his craft at a very young age and years of socializing with some of the most influential people in the entertainment industry seemed to have honed his talent for capturing people and their characteristics.
When we got the chance to talk to Kevin and asked how he would describe his art in three words, he answered that his work is “ fun, exaggerated and prisoners”. He explained his last choice of words by saying that he has the impression that people do not really like to be drawn. This suggests that the people he draws must feel like prisoners to his brushes at times. He admitted that he wants to draw people right now at this moment and stated that it was fun to do it during the pandemic, “ that we needed this”.
We thought that his response, like his caricatures, was very honest and real. We were very excited to witness the sale of three of his images in the first 30 min of the opening show. People seemed very pleased to attend and mingle at the event. The bar was stocked and the room soon took on the smell of garlic bread hidden in the back to make up for the alcohol in the front.
We saw Kevin make time to talk to anyone who seemed interested in his art and later step outside to get some air from the crowded gallery space.
Ari did also introduce us to his right-hand woman of the evening, Sarah Wahl, who has been with the gallery since shortly after the opening and who also happens to be an artist herself. What out for a future interview with this talented woman.
We cannot wait to discover what is going to be on view at the gallery next year. For now, we would like to encourage everyone to check out Kevin’s paintings and buy his book. It is very much worth it. We are not exaggerating here!