Quoted by Frida Giannini as a main inspiration when working on the FW 14/15 men's collection for Gucci (resulting in an exclusive print collaboration), Toronto based and figurative oil artist Kris Knight was recently selected personally by Christian Lacroix to create new work for the exhibition "Carte Blanche a Christian Lacroix" at the Cognacq museum, Paris.
Knight has previously been featured as the cover artist of new men's magazine Fashion For Men, and been interviewed for Candy Magazine and by Frida Giannini for Interview Magazine. Much like celebrated artist Alex Katz, the visual correlation with fashion imagery is no doubt evident in the casting and style of his subjects, personal friends of Knight who acknowledges that facial features are adapted as required to suit his character needs and a porcelain pattern is drawn on the skin, creating a visual that harks back to the greats of classic portraiture.
"The trend is very much about minimal abstraction for the younger generation. But for me, I love history. I love the portrait greats—Lawrence and Sargent and Gainsborough. And I'm hugely inspired by the Romantic and the neoclassical and symbolist movements, especially when the pretty started to get weird. I love rococo, just because it was deemed as superficial; the portraits are so glowing and slightly ghostly. There's a subtext to rococo that I love and want to bring to my work. I tend to care more about history than the now. I'd rather have people look at my work in 20 years and not worry about what the painting trends were in 2014."
Kris Knight interviewed by Frida Giannini, Interview Magazine, Jan 2015.