Artist Spotlight: Ken Tate

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Anne Neilson Fine Art is elated to report the newest addition to our gallery roster: Ken Tate. A Mississippi native, Tate is known for his unconventional painting methods that herald back to the deliberately chaotic style of Abstract Expressionism and Beats writers such as John Kerouac. His recent work superimposes vibrant and raw layers of acrylic paint unto photographs of high-fashion advertisements and celebrity icons. In the Spring of 2017, Ken notably collaborated with Bloomingdale’s Department Store for their merchandising campaign, where his work was introduced to a broader audience (photo featured above). To learn more about this highly-motivated and acclaimed artist, read our exclusive interview below!

Hometown: Columbus, Mississippi

Currently Living: Covington, Louisiana

When did you start your career in art?

7 years ago.

How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?


Describe your aesthetic in three words:

A controlled mess.

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

Have on-hand a lot of material and then just start.

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

A 6’ x 6’ acrylic on canvas called Bloodoo 3 or a 4’ x 6’ Bridget Bardot mixed media.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Schnabel, Basquiat, Christopher Wool

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Julian Schnabel, Portrait of Elton John, 80×60, 1997

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?

Finding and keeping one’s own voice.

How do you approach/overcome them?

Intentionally never copy anybody.

Biggest accomplishment to date professionally?

Getting into great galleries.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

My studio is too small, so I’ll be getting a bigger one in the future.

A random fact about you:

I am both a visionary and pragmatic at the same time.

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

Big Sur or Italy.

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Big Sur, California

What are you currently reading?

Spiritual books and mysteries and something of magazines like ArtNews and “W”.

What are you currently listening to?

Ipod on shuffle: Miles Davis, Monk, Phillip Glass, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Esperanza Spalding, Ennio Morricone, etc.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?  

An architect.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Art, family and iced lattes.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Julian Schnabel

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Botticelli, Weatherford.

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Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, c.1486

Dream commission?

Painting twenty pieces for a large villa on the Pacific Ocean.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

That it is soulful.

What makes your work unique?

My personality and my fearlessness when it comes to art.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years.

To be in ArtNews.

A preview of Ken Tate’s work now available at ANFA!

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Gucci Girl I & II, 32 x 25

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Girl with Turqouise Bag, 30×25