Kevin Everson explores the working class culture of Black Americans by capturing the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of daily life. Everson often incorporates footage of family and friends in his work, as well as found media including sports clips, photographs, and news reports. He then reinterprets the images to generate new meaning which allow him to examine life in the Middle-American Black home. With a sense of place and historical research, Kevin Jerome Everson films combine scripted and documentary moments with rich elements of formalism. The subject matter is the gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of working class African Americans and other people of African descent. The conditions are usually physical, social-economic circumstances or weather. Instead of standard realism he favors a strategy that abstracts everyday actions and statements into theatrical gestures, in which archival footage is re-edited or re-staged, real people perform fictional scenarios based on their own lives and historical observations intermesh with contemporary narratives. The films suggest the relentlessness of everyday life-along with its beauty --but also present oblique metaphors for art-- making.
Kevin Jerome Everson was born in 1965 and raised in Mansfield, Ohio. He has an MFA from Ohio University and a BFA from the University of Akron. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Everson has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, NEA, NEH, Ohio Arts Council and the Virginia Museum, an American Academy Rome Prize, grants from Creative Capital and the Mid-Atlantic, residencies at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Yaddo and MacDowell Colony, and numerous university fellowships.
His artwork --paintings, sculpture, site-specific installations and photographs-- and films, including five features (Spicebush, 2005; Cinnamon, 2006; The Golden Age of Fish, 2008; Erie, 2010; Quality Control, 2011) and over seventy short form works, have been exhibited internationally at museums and art institutions including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; REDCAT, Los Angeles; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Wurttenbergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, New York; Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio; American Academy of Rome, Rome, Italy; 1k Projectspace, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, Virginia, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio and various other arts institutions and public spaces. Everson's films have been screened at numerous international film festivals.