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Kevin Townsend Covers Entire Spaces with Organic Chalk Drawings

There's an innocence and fleeing quality about Kevin Townsend's organic chalk drawings that cover entire spaces, an act that he says liberates him from the confines of the artist's studio. We've featured many chalk artists on our blog over the years, but Townsend, who is also a teacher, uses this child's mark making tool specifically for its impermanence. The Boston based artist finds himself captivated by the idea of how time and our perception of it helps to shape our identities, as well as our relationship to overlooked urban environments.

There’s an innocence and fleeing quality about Kevin Townsend’s organic chalk drawings that cover entire spaces, an act that he says liberates him from the confines of the artist’s studio. We’ve featured many chalk artists on our blog over the years, but Townsend, who is also a teacher, uses this child’s mark making tool specifically for its impermanence. The Boston based artist finds himself captivated by the idea of how time and our perception of it helps to shape our identities, as well as our relationship to overlooked urban environments. Memory is a primary concept in his art: “I am driven by issues surrounding memory, its formation, storage and subsequent degradation over time. I am consumed with thoughts regarding the ways in which we are marked by time and the way that memory becomes the architecture of our identity.” Townsend also appreciates the fragile nature of chalk, a material that is easily smeared such as by a passerby who might accidentally touch it and carry it with them on their clothing, or simply wiped clean by an unsuspecting custodian. Lines are repeated and accumulated resulting in the emergence of an abstract form, often resembling topographic landscapes or flowing fabric. The drawing only ends when the available space is filled, and once completed, each drawing will last for a finite period of time in its location. For his recent series, titled “Stria: lost time, misplaced moments”, Townsend is drawing in transitional spaces along 14th street Between Fifth Avenue and Tenth Avenue. It’s a project that he is documenting on his website, where you can also find video time lapses of his other projects.

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