A life-long collector, Jerry Kunkel is well known for his paintings loaded with images that trigger our cultural memory and collective consciousness, all mined from his collections. He considers the process of collecting transformative and, lucky for us, his paintings make that transformation visible for us to see.
When Kunkel moved his studio from Colorado to Lawrence, Kansas, he was faced quite literally with unpacking his life. This began a long process of attempting to unpack imagery, unravel it, unlayer it, isolate it, and spread it out. Resonating with references to pop culture, everyday activities, the unexplained curious twist, the symbolic and the everyday, Kunkel’s paintings spread out imagery, pattern, and text luxuriously revealing unexpected stories intertwined with nuance and meaning.
Jerry Kunkel wants us to “remember everything and nothing at once, to cross-reference the past and the present, to be self-reflective, to consider the mundane and the sublime in a single breath, to reconsider our cultural conventions, to acknowledge our excesses, and to juxtapose what we believe to be true with what we may still need to learn.”
Jerry Kunkel’s paintings are held in the public collections of the Denver Art Museum, CO; Anderson Ranch Arts Center, CO; Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL; Kirkland Museum, Denver, CO; Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, ID; Aurora Campus Library, Denver, CO; Kaiser Permanente; Amoco, Inc; Anaconda Corporation; and others including numerous private collections.