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Sarah Tomlinson


Kevin Earl Taylor’s paintings have a reputation for being ominous, thanks to the otherworldliness of moody
scenes featuring animals and androgynous humans.

Kevin Earl Taylor was one of those skate-or-die kids in high school. Those were the days when he was
sponsored by Thunder Trucks, skipped prom to skate, and listened to punk. Skateboarding was important for
another reason, too. The San Francisco-based painter says it helped him to develop an artist’s mindset.
“When you’re skateboarding, you’re kind of walking down the sidewalk, and everything you look at has the
potential to be something else,” he said. “If you’re behind a shopping center, and there’s nothing to
skateboard on, all the sudden you start looking at the trashcans, and the dumpsters, and this crappy piece of wood that’s lying on the ground. And you start to almost make this kind of recreational sculpture.”

Taylor still skates. But, today, his motto would more likely be paint or die. And he aims to maintain a sense
of this scrappy playfulness in his artwork. Just take the pun-infected comics, or “punny fages,” he draws
when he’s not painting—in one, a metal kid throws devil horns at his roof. Title: “Ceiling Fan.”