Emerging artist: Ken Auster

October 10, 2003 § Leave a comment

Ken Auster | Trinidad Rocks

“I work only in oils,” says Ken Auster, “and my paintings are very juicy, very loose and very of-the-moment.”

Auster believes there are two aspects to painting: the intellectual and the passionate. “You have to think about what it is you’re painting ahead of time,” he says. “Then, when you paint, you can leave your brain at the door. When you’re thinking of other things and not of the painting itself, you create your best works — those that are spontaneous, unpredictable and honest.”

Stuart Katz, a voracious art collector, strolled into Auster’s atudio unannounced in 1996. Katz, who spent years searching colleges and galleries for undiscovered talent, changed Auster’s career with four words: “This is really good.”

Bolstered by Katz’s approval, Auster took transparencies of his work to several San Francisco galleries. Most merely went through the motions, but Thomas Reynolds, owner of Thomas Reynolds Gallery, was impressed with Auster’s style and technique and requested more examples. Still fearing rejection, Auster procrastinated. Fortunately, Reynolds persisted, and the day after he received Auster’s packet he decided to stage an exhibition of the artist’s work. In 1997, “The California Coast” became the first of five sold-out shows.

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