Kour Pour: Art (And Tigers) For The People
Peacock Tiger (2021) by Kour Pour (now available as a Kinstler puzzle) depicts a crouching, curious big cat with an animated tail and face. He (or she) appears to be mid-conversation with a bird seated on a tree branch. The artist first prints the animals onto a canvas with a large linocut before embellishing them with hand painted details and color. For Peacock Tiger he positioned this scene as a left-aligned block atop a cobalt blue surface. The arrangement leaves margins of solid blue, and recalls the layout of a picture book. Indeed, the narrative quality of the work incites questions about characters and plot. What are the animals chatting about? Is it a friendly interspecies interaction? Or something more sinister?
When I bring this up to Pour in our interview, which is included with the puzzle, he responds that the nod to picture books is all part of how he hopes viewers will connect with his works. In his words:
That’s a theme within my work, that the things I am looking at are accessible. I didn't grow up in a household where we had access to art…Using images that are more recognizable to people who aren't traditionally part of the art world is important to me.Peacock Tiger is based on a traditional Korean image of a tiger, and Pour culls styles from all over Asia and elsewhere for the works that appear in his tiger series. In each painting, he considers how the materials (oil and acrylic paints) and styles (impressionist, color field, or pop paintings) central to the canon of Western “fine art” can enter into conversation with modes of making—like illustration and printmaking—that are often relegated to craft or folk arts. His tigers are cross-cultural as a fact, as they contain a constellation of influences, processes, and styles from across time and place.