Ken Kline: Still Life

A native of Las Vegas, Ken Kline uses trompe l’oeil techniques to create realistic still lifes of personal and family objects.

“My goal is to create subjects that will be interesting. Each viewer may find some more appealing than others. I construct each painting in oil on board using personal and family objects that are treasured memories.” – Ken Kline

What does trompe l’oeil mean?

Trompe l’oeil is French for “to deceive the eye”, an art historical tradition in which the artist fools us into thinking we’re looking at the real thing. Whether it’s a painted fly that we’re tempted to brush away, or an illusionistic piece of paper with curling edges that entices us to pick it up, trompe l’oeil makes us question the boundary between the painted world and ours.  

The earliest account of trompe l’oeil comes from ancient Greece, where a contest took place between two prominent artists, Zeuxis and Parrhasius. The story goes that Zeuxis painted grapes with such skill that birds flew down to peck at them. Not wanting to be outdone, Parrhasius painted an illusionistic curtain that fooled even the discerning eye of his fellow-painter, who tried to draw it to one side. This famous anecdote was repeated in later art treatises, encouraging artists to emulate their classical predecessors.  


On exhibit at Whitney Library form January 13, 2022 through March 29, 2022

Monday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM