Embrace Failare! (sic)

Watching one of John Kilduff’s episodes of “Let’s Paint TV” is like trying to watch three different episodes of “24” at the same time. He manages to keep a frenetic pace going as he simultaneously runs on a treadmill, paints, and talks about the process of painting. In addition each episode throws in a bonus activity; cutting his hair, making bizarre mixed drinks, or as in the above clip, eating a watermelon while painting a watermelon.

At first Kilduff’s clips are annoying – it’s hard to follow him, and he himself is distracted by all he’s trying to do. Then it just seems absurd, and the humor begins to seep in through the manic urgency. Watch even further, and what you have is pretty brilliant. Kilduff manages to strip away any pretension around art and reduce it to its most primal creative essence. Don’t worry about what you’re doing – just do it! Take your mind off the importance of the work at hand, and make it an almost subconscious process. Ridiculous as it may first appear, what he’s doing is performance art.

Kilduff is actually a trained painter, and curators are dubbing his work “action painting,” a sort of plein air painting on speed. You can see the results of his painting-while-jogging here.

Now Kilduff is taking his show on tour (he’s dubbed it the “Embrace Failare” tour) and his next stop is – you guessed it – right here in the Twin Cities. Let’s Paint TV will tape an episode tomorrow night at Northwestern College at 6:30pm in St. Paul. In addition an exhibition of his work will be on display through October 3.

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