Portraits of Men Who Have Things to Hide

By Chloe Pantazi
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Kris Knight
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These magnificent portraits by the artist Kris Knight, taken from his latest series, Secrets Are The Things We Grow, offer a supple beauty, both relenting and quietly powerful. "This new series of paintings portray characters who deeply hold their secrets but long to let them go," Knight told us. Speaking of the subjects in his work, Knight said, "They hide truths of what they are, where they come from, and whom they love. Stemmed from personal stories, these young men isolate themselves from those around them; they cover their secrets with lies and put on airs." A relationship between Knight's viewer and subject is indeed implied; in each of these pictures—and especially in Blue Gazeand Soft Pink—there's a symbiotic withholding and revealing going on. Something is being held furtively, and tentatively given over.

Knight's oil paintings possess an unruffled sumptuousness, from the material of a subject's sheer shirt to the bed of grass a couple rests upon, the theme of florals, and the pastel hues inflecting a subject's rosy cheeks. As Knight elaborates, "Within these portraits are elements of the garden and exercises in pattern work representing how secrets are rooted and grow with time. Other paintings note the bonds formed when secrets are revealed to those we hold closest." The name of Knight's series is fitting; like our secrets, everything within these portraits seems to be growing and melting away.

Secrets Are The Things We Grow will be on show at Soho's Mulherin + Pollard gallery from April 4 through May 5, 2013.

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"Blue Gaze" (Kris Knight)


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"Faberge" (Kris Knight)


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"Home Cuts" (Kris Knight)


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"Ivory" (Kris Knight)


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"Loose Lips Sink Ships" (Kris Knight)


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"Slumming It" (Kris Knight)


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"Soft Pink" (Kris Knight)


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"Two-Stripe Captain" (Kris Knight)


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"What The Moonflowers Told Me" (Kris Knight)

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/portraits-of-men-who-have-things-to-hide/274476/