Kyle Parker Cunningham was born in Wyoming, raised in Montana, and now resides with his partner Jeannie Ortiz on the banks of the Rio Grande at the edge of the great expanse of Gila Wilderness in Truth or Consequences, NM. Momentarily tethered to the New Mexico sun but nomads at heart, they garden and make things.
Kyle’s childhood spent wandering the mountains of rural Montana imparted a deep and fundamental love for the wild; he is much more at home in the middle of wilderness than in the middle of civilization. It is impossible for him to escape this influence and it is visible in everything he creates.
The wild’s influence is not limited to the beauty and magic of nature, but also the test of the will undergone when alone and completely self supported in the wild. The mental and physical challenges of wilderness travel delivers the mind to a trancelike state where ideas are cultivated and new connections flourish. Capturing, interpreting and sharing these new ways of thinking is paramount to his artistic output.
Art is that most ancient and universal tool of communication, Kyle embraces it to fulfill that necessary urge to listen, share and tell stories. Art speaks to us from the ages, be it in a Rembrandt painting on a museum wall or chipped lines of a petroglyph in the rock of choice canyon alcoves, we inevitably recognize our own lives. Kyle shares that ancient inexhaustible urge to leave his story in the world and to share his story with other humans so they might understand themselves all the better.
Formative years in rural Montana imparted a unique empathy for other people's beliefs. He has been fortunate enough to both have lived in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s monastery and also have worked cattle with cowboys on vast ranches in Montana.
These disparate experiences have formulated a world view which seeks to cultivate understanding between the rural/urban and liberal/conservative divide our nation is currently experiencing. His practice of exhibiting and creating events in rural areas embraces this ideal by fostering art appreciation to a portion of the public often overlooked by the mainstream art world.
On a singular canvas the world is framed as he sees it today, as it was yesterday, and as it could be tomorrow, merging archaic images with the technologies of the future. Each piece is unique and poignant: paying homage to our pre-history while forcing us to examine how far we have come.
Still life paintings raise the authority of the simple, mundane objects whose presence infuses our being, consciously or not. Dinosaurs with agua-lungs, elephants in space suits, whimsical perhaps, but each has been a part of our history or sits on the arc of the future. In the repetition of the random is found the building blocks of our psyches; each painting is real and resonates with familiarity. He reminds us that though the day is long we are each but a piece of this being known as existence: complex and sublime.