Ken Taylor is an artist living and working in Bakersfield, California, but for a period of time he decided to come to Antwerp, Belgium. By chance he was given an atelier and was able to act as an artist in Belgium as well. In Antwerp, whenever people introduced him, they introduced him as a painter. The people around him expected that as an artist, he was a painter. Taylor wasn't going to question their expectations, so he decided he should make paintings in his acquired studio.
Using bland subjects, painting from picture and memory he created a series of strange and uncanny, almost boring images. None of them add up and viewed separately they can be seen as cynical jokes, simply filling in these previously made expectations of what an artist is or should do. As such, the work he created is site specific, the site being the influences obtained in Antwerp. He automatically puts himself in the position of an artist in residence, only without context, or the context being the expectations made.
As expected he should do an art show, displaying the works he made, before he leaves, back to Bakersfield. Again by chance, some of his newly made friends knew someone who owned an art space and so he came to Hole Of The Fox with his project of expectations. Following the idea of what to expect of an artist persona, an art show opening and how to handle an artwork, Taylor created a new persona especially for Antwerp using social media, such as Tumblr and Facebook, to push himself into the worlds of the people of Antwerp. On Facebook he embodied a person you could befriend, the "new guy" nobody knew, with artworks in his photo albums. This Ken Taylor was to be the new, fresh artist, showing up all of a sudden.
To add to this idea, he went to one of the biggest gallery openings in Antwerp during this period, the opening of Michael Borremans at Zeno X, where he would have his picture taken with the most prominently presented work of Borremans, like a tourist at a scenic stop. This picture was then placed on his Facebook page, with the event of Borremans tagged, adding lore to his artistic image here in Antwerp. On Tumblr he copied a certain style of how to show your artworks online, choosing a theme that is very easy on the eye, with a lot of white and high-resolution images of the paintings he made while staying here in Antwerp.
"I don't consider myself a painter, however, while in Antwerp, I've practiced acrylic painting on subjects occurring in Belgian media or things I came into contact with during my stay here.
I also started thinking about what was going to be expected of my exhibition and of the opening. After seeing the Borremans show I thought about the purpose of having these openings and figured I wanted to shift the centrality of the artwork.
Artist (not) in residence's paintings put up a frame work of what to expect from a painting show, when traditional gallery conduct is diminished."
At the night of the opening he didn't show these paintings, breaking with the expectations built by his persona, instead he showed a clear white painting, where white oil paint was added in a thick layer, accompanied with food, drinks and dj's, stepping away from the idea of the artworks as the central aspect of the opening, but putting social contact and having fun first.
Next to the painting, there's also a table and a garbage can that also seemed to be smeared with the same white oil paint, purposely choosing for these three objects because of their hierarchy in functionality. The painting as a sacred object, which you are not allowed to touch, the table fulfilling its duty as a functional object and the trash can as an abject. Taylor would allow for people to place their cups and left over food, as well as cigarettes and other trash, on the table or in the trash can and even on the painting. The trash mingled with the works, placing the painting on the same level of these functional objects, or placing the table and trash can on the same level of the painting, removing all hierarchical structure between the objects, like Taylor intended.
The people showing up to the opening (or party) would eventually co-create the works. The actual exhibition started the day after the opening, showing the results of multiple expectations, unfulfilled and broken down by the people themselves.