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Dance the midnight hour

by Alan Kestner

Alan studied art at Newcastle -Upon-Tyne where he became interested in the French naïves such as the Douanier Rousseau, René Rimbert and Camille Bambois. Many of his paintings are set in the open air with a large cast of characters who dance, play musical instruments or interact together in different ways. His figures have simple uncluttered lines, are bare-footed, wear brightly coloured clothes and are modelled in strong light and shade.

The atmosphere is tranquil, with the long shadows of morning or sunset. Foliage takes on a life of its own – saw-edged stinging nettles; caressing grasses; trees shimmering in time to the music. Don’t be fooled though, not all his characters are sweet and pleasant. There are also some dark and disturbing images – twisted and distorted heads; burning cities; and nightmare worlds. So if you like fairytale and story telling you will find lots to interest you in his work.