Painter Kelley Hensing creates surreal, narrative works with an antiquated feel. Her portraits of anachronistic characters — Victorian ladies, wood nymphs, carnival workers — are placed in ornate, wooden frames that add to their timeworn aesthetic. Hensing is getting ready to debut her latest body of work for her solo show, “The Animal Within,” at Last Rites Gallery in New York.
The title of the show alludes to Hensing’s ongoing exploration of the ways humankind identifies with nature to better understand our own experiences. In folklore, specific animal species are often associated with certain human attributes. Similarly, allegories seem to take shape within Hensing’s cryptic works, though she leaves their ultimate meanings up to the viewer. Take a look inside Hensing’s studio before “The Animal Within” opens on November 22.
Photos courtesy of Last Rites Gallery.