Forrest Kirk opened his first show at Chimento Contemporary, Body Count, with a group of paintings and sculptures from his ongoing Police Series. Divided into episodic installments Forrest refers to as “academies,” the Police Series – which comprises more than 50 paintings – investigates the psychological impulses underlying police violence in America, especially the violence aimed at men and women of color.
Often working through diptychs, Forrest references artists as discrete as Kerry James Marshall, Gerhard Richter, and Alex Katz. His paintings, especially those featured in Body Count, take on larger-than-life proportions while interrogating strategies used to represent the daily lives of African Americans. His works teeter between surreal canvases in which black bodies contort under the control of the police he represents and attempts to materialize those visions through sculpture, such as Jay Walker (2018), a police car door the artist mounted in the center of the gallery during his opening exhibition. “Once I have the image in my head, size is irrelevant,” he says. “It’s just a question of how much paint is necessary.”
Los Angeles Times Review: Police, violence and an artist who paints to provoke
Curate LA: Studio Visit: Forrest Kirk
be-Art Magazine: Galleries in Los Angeles, summer 2018