Franklin Kernes is a contemporary abstract artist from North Carolina specializing in acrylic. His creative growth began early in childhood, inspired by family, teachers and the world around him. He has always taken an interest in optical illusions and organic shapes in nature (trees, clouds, roots). Throughout art filled years in school Kernes won numerous awards and recognition. After high school, even though he had much success in fine art, he decided to pursue graphic design. While studying at the Art Institute of Charlotte, Kernes was reintroduced to the world of fine art and exposed to many different artists and styles. Although his focus was in graphic design, there was always that love for painting. After graduation and a career in design, this budding creative artist has made an impressive return to the brush.
Kernes’ work is characterized by colorful backgrounds accompanied by hypnotizing, bold, black lines. Despite it being early in his career, Kernes is gaining a lot of attention. His paintings can be seen in galleries, homes and businesses in the greater Charlotte area. Recently his work has traveled across international waters with collectors to Germany, where it hangs alongside the likes of artists like Norman Rockwell.
From beginning to end I try to take the passenger seat and let the piece create itself. To me, every project has its own feel or energy. Once I am able to identify with that, I try to zone out as much as possible. Using a range of materials, I tend to apply the paint (acrylic) with a fair amount of water. There is something about incorporating a natural element. Building layers of color and bold black lines while rotating the canvas creates a multidirectional finished piece. Both line and color working in harmony.
My inspiration comes from my experiences and environment (shapes in nature, trees, clouds, etc.). I’ve always had an interest in puzzles and optical illusions; I believe these things are reflected in my work. There is a complex simplicity, a marriage of background and foreground, seemingly endless compositions within compositions… But one line changes everything. These compositions are hypnotizing to the eye while the brain attempts to make sense of it all. Ultimately, making the work unique to every viewer.
Each piece has similar form but once you look closer... they become very different.