KENNY IRWIN, JR.: DRAWINGS

APRIL 3 – MAY 3, 2020

This exhibition features pen and ink drawings by Kenny Irwin, Jr., best known as the mastermind behind Robolights—a sci-fi themed art installation of epic proportions he built by hand over the course of 33 years on the grounds of his childhood home in Palm Springs, California. The project was reimagined last year as Robolights Detroit at Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead.

At the age of two he drew pictures of aliens and scenes of outer space with crayons around the periphery of his room in a single night.Irwin has always used whatever common materials are at hand to create his art and today he makes most of his drawings with ballpoint pens. As Irwin grew older he discovered that the language appearing in his imagination used Pastu, Farsi, Urdu, and Arabic script and he now believes these to be most comparable to the advanced languages of other worlds.

Although Irwin was born into a Christian family he converted to Islam at an early age. References to both can be found throughout his work alongside secular holidays, dinosaurs, pirates, and robots. These disparate themes which are often at odds with each other are united inIrwin’s work through the delightful power of happiness, creativity, and unlimited imagination. The exhibition is accompanied by a book of photographs of the original Robolights in Palm Springs by Julie Reyes Taubman, the late founding board member of MOCAD.

The A. Alfred Taubman Foundation is the presenting sponsor of Kenny Irwin, Jr: Drawings.