Spinello Projects presents “Smell The Magic”, a solo exhibition from Toronto-based artist Kris Knight. This pop-up exhibition will take place in the heart of the Miami Design District (95 NE 40th Street), kicking off Miami Art Week 2014. The artist will be present for the opening, which coincides with the release of his first published catalogue.

Gentle, almost delicate portraits of young men are a parade of characters that Knight continuously inhabits in metaphor; physical manifestations of the full array of the artist’s internal psychological tones. They are secretive, veiled faces that do not directly address the viewer; rather, they are in quiet repose filled with restlessness. Knight draws both technical and contextual elements from the Late Baroque and Rococo movements embodied by artists such as Poussin, Fragonard, and especially portraitists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Vigée-Le Brun.

His portraits of fragile youths are charged with sexual tension, completely self-aware, but fiercely guarded.

Knight exerts a firm command over painting, drawing, and drafting methodologies in his paintings, and capably carries his subjects from the past into the present. He addresses the future by proposing new models of masculinity and gender identity: boys can be dreamers, they can be cast under gentle lights and colors, they can wear makeup and be considered both male and beautiful simultaneously. He creates, in effect, avatars of himself: a highly ornate cloak masking his inner self.

Gucci began its collaboration with Knight in January 2014, when Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini referenced Knight’s paintings as inspiration for Gucci’s Fall-Winter 2014 Collection. This led to a series of commissions from Giannini, including a dark and mystical reimagining of the iconic Flora pattern which debuted in the GUCCI Cruise 2014 collection.

Exhibition runs through December 15th, 2014

This exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of Gucci.

Kris Knight was born in Windsor, Ontario in 1980. He received his degree in 2003, majoring in Painting and Drawing from the Ontario College of Art and Design (AOCAD), with a minor in Curating and Criticism. Solo exhibitions of Knight’s work have been held at venues in Toronto, Amsterdam, New York, and Miami. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, Kansas), Mulherin + Pollard (New York), Mike Weiss Gallery (New York), Spinello Projects (Miami), and Gallery Poulsen (Copenhagen). Knight and his work have been published in international press outlets including Fashion For Men, The Montreal Mirror, New Icon, and Xtra Magazine. His work is held in the collections of Guccio Gucci S.p.A (Rome), The Oppenheimer Collection, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the 21c Museum of Contemporary Art (Louisville, Kentucky), and the private collections of individuals including Beth Rudin DeWoody and Kelly Osbourne. Knight lives and works in Toronto.
Spinello Projects is a Miami-based contemporary art program founded in 2005 by Anthony Spinello. The gallery supports and promotes the work of artists with unorthodox and experimental practices. Its mission: to initiate fundamental changes in Miami’s visual landscape and to present new aesthetic challenges to a broader global viewership.