Kyle Stewart's paintings reveal the familiar yet foreign interactions that can arise in the complicated relationship between an individual and their environment. Each person in his compositions seems to inhabit a world in which they are unsure how to approach. His subjects appear to be searching for something in the complexity that is their surroundings; places filled with a strange and beautiful mixture of man-made space and organic nature. Peculiar plant life sprout out from the walls and floors, warping perspective so that it is unclear what is really there and what is perhaps just an artificial decoration on the wall. Stewart’s characters seem just as puzzled and amazed as we are, as they attempt to interact with the nature as if to uncover something. Is the nature they are encountering real or artificial? What is their role in relation to organic life in an urban setting?
The artist, originally from a rural community, now works and lives in the strikingly different environment of the city of Toronto. Stewart explains, “Now, after years living in a major city, encounters with nature feel uneasy and foreign. This ongoing series of oil paintings depicts the difficult relationship with nature as seen from an urban perspective.”
More of Stewart’s work can be found at RawSalt Gallery, where he his currently represented.