KENNEY MENCHER

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I was born in Brooklyn February of 1965.  During much of my childhood I lived in Brooklyn, the Bronx, upstate NY, Sarasota, Florida and Manhattan.  (Both my mother and father divorced and remarried.)  The real hero of my childhood is my older brother Marc who literally changed my diapers, acted as my protector and as my role model.

I started to learn to paint and draw when I was six or seven years old and was convinced that I would be an artist from that age on.


As a teen at the High School of Art and Design I got my best training in Irwin Greenberg’s class where he taught me how to draw, oil paint and watercolor. I also attended classes at the Cooper Union and Art Students League.      


My parents threw me out in my senior year of high school, so I earned my GED and worked construction on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  It was a rough time but my older brother and his partner Kirk rescued me by inviting me to move with them to Cincinnati, Ohio to live and study.   While a college student, I worked in restaurants and painted as much as I could.   After a year at the University of Cincinnati, I went back to the Bronx where I finished college at CUNY Lehman.  Lehman is a fantastic college.


After completing my undergraduate studies, I lived in California and then Ohio completing my two masters’ degrees in Art History and Studio Art.  After school I was lucky enough to have dual careers as an exhibiting artist and tenured professor. 


In 2014 I began to work on paintings with a strong homoerotic content. Despite excellent sales and well received shows, the galleries I worked with wouldn’t show my new queer work, so I’ve been successfully working mainly directly with my collectors.  This change has freed me and allowed me to focus on themes and subjects that, in the past, were rejected or resulted in censorship.

Things are going great!  In 2016, after eighteen years of teaching art history and studio courses, I resigned a tenured professorship to pursue painting full time.