Yes! I am smitten!
This is the work of Canadian artist Kris Knight, I love how his art is like a contemporary take on 18th century French portraiture. Knight was born in Windsor, Ontario and works out of his studio in Toronto (which he shares with one of my favorite artists – Winnie Truong!) Knight began painting both women and men, but now focuses on male characters, because it’s truer to him. His paintings are all representations of Knight’s own personal stories.
An excerpt from Knight’s website tells us his work “examines performance in relation to the construction, portrayal and boundaries of sexual and asexual identities. Drawing from personal histories of rural escapism through imagination, Knight paints disenchanted characters that are lost between youth and adulthood; they hide their secrets, but desperately long to let them go. His mythical and ambiguous portraits are a synthesis of fantasy and real-world memory; they tiptoe between the dichotomies of pretty and menace, hunter and hunted, innocence and the erotic. Throughout Knight’s professional practice, he has created thematic bodies of work that reference historical notions of regality, mysticism, romanticism and symbolism. He often skews these concepts with contemporary interests in androgyny, psychotropic alterations and the post-modern gaze.”
Gucci’s creative director was one of Knight’s fans and his paintings influenced Gucci’s 2014 men’s fall line. Knight then collaborated with Gucci to create an exclusive pattern for their 2015 cruise collection. See it here.
Images found here.