Kevin Xiques is a self-taught artist based in Portland, Maine. In December of 2020 he began painting for the first time since 6th grade, and now is completely emersed in his practice. Xiques works with acrylic paint on canvas, focusing on freewill and pure expression, which is channelled through his use of color and mark making.

"Growing up as a person of color in a rural town in Vermont, I actively suppressed my individuality. I took away much of my childhood freedom in an attempt to blend in. I am here to reclaim that freedom through my work."

Artist Statement

My work is a representation of my escape from the metaphorical box I spent my childhood in. I grew up in a rural town in Vermont as one of the only people of color. I was frequently singled out for being one of the few black people in my school and was known for being “slower” because of my dyslexia and slow processing speed. It was extremely difficult for my mind to follow conventional methods of learning, and I struggled in educational settings that demanded a standardized approach.

My art is the liberation of my mind. I am allowing myself to embrace my own way of processing things and to forget about any normalcy I "should be” taking part in. There is no planning behind any of my pieces, only guidance from my present emotions. I make each mark as an intuitive response to the relative state of the canvas. My color palettes are created in the moment; no combination of colors is off limits.

This process is my therapy and a commitment to honoring my mind and the way it thinks. My paintings are the manifestation of the freedom I have gained and the freedom I am hoping every individual will come to realize. As long as we are not doing harm to others, there is no right or wrong way to think or act. My work celebrates freedom of thought and represents emancipation from the status quo.

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