Kenneth Greiner

Kenneth Greiner (b. 1990, Enumclaw, WA) is an American artist based in London. Working across painting, installation, and writing, his nature-inspired, intuitive compositions began to take shape in 2020 after a prolonged exploration of meditation and spiritual practice. Since then, he has been included in a number of group exhibitions including the Empathy & Alchemy pop-up group show at The Living Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Action Reaction (an exhibition of environmental works) at The Factory in Long Island City, NYC, The 72nd Annual Exhibition at Silvermine Galleries in New Canaan, CT, and Pride at Lycoming College Art Gallery in Williamsport, PA. In Dec of 2023, he held residency with Dear Artists, an online organization with the mission of improving visibility around mental health for artists and additionally, his series, Always Just Becoming, was selected to feature in Deanna Evans Projects’ Trove capsule. Currently, he is studying Fine Art at the Royal College of Art.

Photo of artist Kenneth Greiner

What did you want to be when you were growing up? And when did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
When I was quite young, I first had the thought to be an artist. I liked to draw as a child and thought maybe I would be an illustrator, but I explored lots of different things in my teens and twenties. I was afraid of the uncertainty associated with the artist's life and so I explored adjacent areas. Music, photography, filmmaking; for a while I thought I might become a geologist. I didn't find my way back to fine art until I was 30. 

Are there any specific artists or movements that have influenced your work?
Robert Smithson and the land artists of the 1960s, Lee Ufan and the Mono-ha movement in Japan, are two significant ones.

How and where do you find inspiration on a regular basis?
I like to wander around a lot, taking in different perspectives. I take time to sit in silence and meditate, connecting with the earth in nature. I see these things as needs. I have to do them, but they fuel the work too. When I'm in my healthy rhythm, the energy to make work just seems to keep coming.

What does your process look like from ideation to completion?
It differs depending on the medium and materials, but generally, it's intuitive. I see images or simple compositions in my mind. Just a glimpse, but it's enough to start from, but a lot of the time new connections happen in real time while working. I try to relax my judgments and stay open to the painting or the work's potential; transforming over time. It can be a lot like a conversation.

What emotions or thoughts do you wish to spark in viewers?
Whatever naturally comes up! I don't think I have specific goals for how anyone should experience it, but if it encourages you to slow down a bit and reflect that's a plus. 

How has your practice or style changed over time?
I go through phases where certain vantage points intrigue me or certain concepts are working on my mind a lot. It tends to be reflected in the work in round about ways. It's never not changing. I'm always looking into something that fascinates me or experimenting with ideas and that affects work's trajectory.

What is a common misconception that people have about artists or the art world?
That artists are difficult people. In reality, they're just highly sensitive and often neurodivergent. They pick up on things others don't. They are the canaries in the proverbial coal mine and have a lower tolerance for abuse, pollution, substances, stress. They should be heard instead of disregarded. Everyone benefits when the most sensitive people are looked after.