Kenney Mencher is an American painter. He is currently Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Ohlone College in Fremont, California, and he has previously taught at institutions including the University of Chicago and Texas A&M University. He is also the author of Liaisons: Readings in Art, Literature and Philosophy, a thematically-framed textbook about how the study of culture relates to students' other classes and to life in general.
Mencher graduated from the City University of New York
in 1991 with a Bachelor's Degree in art history
. Subsequently, he earned a Master's Degree in art history from the University of California, Davis
in 1994, and then a master of fine arts degree from the University of Cincinnati
Mencher's work has appeared in a number of solo and two-person shows at galleries nationwide. Currently, he is represented by Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento
and Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe
. He was recently profiled in the June 2007 issue of The Artist's Magazine
. He also has a show up at Octavia's Haze Gallery in San Francisco
, and is in the "Lucky Seven" group show at the Dahlia Woods Gallery in Dallas
Mencher depicts scenes filled with ambiguous stories, allowing the viewers to join in the creation process. Common themes include people whispering, half-full (or half-empty) drinking glasses, the visual exploration of clichés, film noir themes, and sequential narratives.
Mencher hosts a blog on his web site, showing viewers the development of several of his paintings, including the source material he uses. He also hosts an online forum on his web site, where viewers are able to express their thoughts on his work by submitting their own poetry. Additionally, he has hosted a contest, allowing viewers to submit title suggestions for an already-completed painting (eventually titled Chromosomal Variation).
In 2003, Hang Gallery in San Francisco
stopped showing his work, with the gallery director calling it "perverted." In 2004, four paintings were removed from his exhibit at the California State Teachers' Retirement System office in Sacramento
, after some female employees said the works made them uncomfortable.
Mencher often uses his wife, friends, and students as influences and models for his work.