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Get to know John Paul Kesling...

Welcome back to our continued series, ONLINE → IN HOME.  This week, we feature Madison, TN based Artist, John Paul Kesling.  We asked John some questions to learn more about him and how the current state of the world has affected his life.  John Paul is an Artist, a natural Comedian and most of all,  a lovely human that we are glad to know and share with you... Red Arrow:  Your 2nd solo show with Red Arrow was scheduled for May, will you give us some background on your new body of work?  JPK: For the past year I have been making work that focuses on death and nature. The earliest work I plan on showing was made at an artist residency I attended in May of 2019.  I was in the mountains of Hot Springs, NC at a place called Azule and it was impossible to not be inspired by the location and people there.  The lightning bugs were as thick as the trees and the star-field of the night sky seemed to drip down the atmosphere and into the leaves.  And I was SOBER!  Studio 54 would have been jealous. Red Arrow:  How has the quarantine affected you personally?  Has your day job been affected?  Has this affected your practice?   JPK:  Quarantine?  What do you mean? I haven't watched the news or talked to humans for the past 2 months. Is there something going on I should know about? I'm sure everything is fine, right? Right? It's all fine. Tell me everything is fine. Everything is perfectly...normal. Normal I tell ya!  Bill Withers is healthy! John Prine will live forever!  Nobody is suffering!      H       E      L      P. But also, the quarantine has affected all of us in a multitude of ways.  I'm a homebody normally but the anxiety is still in the air.  It's impossible to not feel the suffering/fear/uncertainty for so many.  Personally, my day job has temporarily shut down and that's been an adjustment.  I've had to find a way to subsidize my income so I've been selling small works that are easily shipped so as to avoid standing in lines in public.  My studio is in a detached garage behind our house so I can work there without seeing other people.  For whatever reason I haven't been working out there.  I have a small desk inside our house and that's where I've been painting.  I think I just don't have the energy to take on a large canvas right now. These small works are manageable and less overwhelming.  Also, my girlfriend just broke her wrist and ankle during this pandemic so I've been taking care of her.  It helps to be within earshot. She's British and if she doesn't have tea every minute and a half she starts losing her mind and her accent.  Can't argue with science, Baby! Red Arrow:  What is the first thing you want to do or place you want to go when the country opens back up again? JPK: Is "Cats" still showing in theaters?  Red Arrow:  What shows have you been binge watching? JPK: The Twilight Zone, Broad City, Grand Designs Red Arrow:  What Virtual shows or events have you viewed or taken part in? JPK:  I haven't viewed any virtual shows but I've been watching a few live feeds of interviews and people working in their studios. I recently watched a studio visit/interview of my old grad school professor Craig Drennen. A few weeks ago I took part in an online auction with Space722 Brooklyn.  They've asked me to contribute work for another one but I'm not sure the dates on that yet. Red Arrow:  What is one word or phrase that you would like folks to know or reflect on to feel better, during this time? JPK:  Fleabag.