Pete Kilkenny

If you came here looking for some kind of references like you usually find on an artist's Vita then I am not sorry but you will be disappointed. Yes, I did "study" art but I don't care for it, it didn't help, if anything it made things worse and it took me years to recover from it. Like school and all establishments I had to escape from them. So no, I didn't run into any professors in my 4 years at art colleges thank you very much, I have won no scholarships nor have I won any prizes. Not a single gallery took even the slightest interest in my work ever and for that I am all the more grateful as I do not bow well to anyone giving me orders or making me feel even slightly dependent. Having studied the art market and many galleries that feed it I am more than happy to be galleryless and free.

Two things worth mentioning here are that 4 of my "works" are in the Annette & Peter Nobel Collection. I am very thankful to Annette & Peter Nobel & their wonderful assistant & art historian Hanspeter Portmann for adding me in 2016 to their collection of Art on newspapers together with works from Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies & many other great artists who I adore.

I also wish to thank Beate Elsen Schwedler, curator of the Collection Würth, who chose my paintings to be incorporated into the catalogue and exhibition "Menagerie" back in 2013 who I am greatly indebted to.

I must add that neither of the above came to me looking for art. It was I that brought my art to them. So in a way I was my own gallerist. There is an expression in german that I like a lot, the word "hartnäckig" which means persistent, tenacious, stubborn even. I have not yet met a gallerist who is so "hartnäckig" as myself, I did stand beside Jay Joplin once at a Gary Hume exhibition whilst my son chatted to Elton John and he is fantastically persistent but in retrospect it would have been pointless to introduce myself, the woman on the reception at his White Cube gallery had just whispered to me that any artist coming in here selling themselves will be ignored for ever!

Getting to know the Würth family was a tremendous path that I could write a book about. Finally, due to my iron decision one fine day many years ago I had decided that Mr. W himself should see my possibly greatest & most meaningful painting to date, "Sevilla", after reading about him in an art magazine. The story is too long to tell here but I will share with you this fact. If you want something really, really bad, no-one can stand in your way, not even a billionaire who is in the world's top twenty active collectors of contemporary art can stop you.

Thank you Beate for fulfilling my dream! As curator of the exhibition "Menagerie" it was she who chose my painting "Sevilla" to be on the inside front cover first page of the catalogue along with Segantini, Max Liebermann, Heinrich von Zügel, Georg Baselitz, Picasso & umpteen other artists whose works only billionaires can dream of owning. Thank you Marion Würth for buying many of mine! Your father was obviously not impressed but my persistence has its way!

For those of you who like a Vita I have prepared one for you here:

1962 Born in Yorkshire England of Irish stock.

1976 first experiments with painting, etching and silk screen printmaking

1978-80 Design and Technology School - Worked with wood, plastic and metal, further developing a major interest for etching and silk screen printmaking - was actually a catholic school though I occupied myself almost completely with Art, Design & Technology & Printmaking.

1980-81 Foundation course in Art - Etching, Litho- and silk screen printing, Drawing, Photography, Art History

1981-84 This was where things started to go wrong - Bachelor of Art Diploma in Fine Art at Newcastle University - Painting and Printmaking

1984-1987 finally leaving college taken by the hand by my then girlfriend I travelled extensively through Europe, Greece, Israel and Asia - as a Street musician, writing nonsense and trying to make sense of it all and painting.

seit 1987 in Deutschland freischaffender Künstler, as they say in german, another vita kind of thing, to my knowledge almost all those who write that they are, "freischaffend", not employee, are lying as they are mostly working as something else and being artists in their spare time. I am a freelance artist since 2006. I had disguised myself as a tree-surgeon for 15 years running my own company and I was proud to have taken care of many listed trees throughout Bavaria including the 1000 year old Hindenburg Linde in Ramsau, Berchtesgaden. A crisis finally brought me to give up the financial security of my work even though it allowed me great freedom as I earned a lot of money quickly so I didn't have to work so much. I had actually been painting quite seriously for 6 years before I gave up my company but it still wasn't genuine enough. I knew in my heart the only way was to dedicate myself completely to the beingness of art. In so doing I became the child I once was. I had always played as a child and was mad to play. School was a nightmare because you weren't allowed to play. You were supposed to become something that you are not. You were being bullied into becoming a slave to society. It's funny you know. Pink Floyd's, "The Wall", came out in 1980 just as I was leaving school. It meant a lot to me then. I went twice to Earls Court to see it live, once in 1980 and again in 1981.
Just the other day I was on TV shown taking down my fence. I don't need fences.
That's my story. Not trying to be free. He who tries to be free is in prison. Better to realiize that you are freedom itself, with no need for compromise, beyond all boundaries.


2013 - 2014 Teilnahme an der Ausstellung "Menagerie" Tierschau aus der Sammlung Würth - Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall

2016 - Veröffentlichung im Katalog von 4 neu erworbenen Werken zu der Ausstellung "Press Art" 28. Mai - 14. Aug 2016 Eine Ausstellung von Werke aus der Sammlung Annette and Peter Nobel im Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI Lugano)

Annette and Peter Nobel

Art on newspapers! The "Le Lettura" Series
The Power of Cow!
"Alles ist Vergänglich, nur der Kuhschwanz, der bleibt länglich"

Arbeiten in Sammlungen

- Reinhold Würth

- Peter Nobel


Arbeiten in Öffentlichen Besitz

- Stadt Burghausen

Ein Jahr lange Serie auf das Titelblatt der Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 19. Oktober 2012 bis 18. Oktober 2013

Live zu Gast im Studio bei Servus TV, Red Bull Fernsehen, Salzburg - mit Filmaufnahmen im Atelier Tittmoning - Oktober 2013

Gast bei Achim Bogdahn Eins zu Eins. Der Talk. Bayern 2 Radio - Februar 2014

Im Bayerischen Fernsehen "Auf dem grünen Teppich“ - Porträt der Kuhmaler - Juli 2014

Artist in Residence auf der Burg Tittmoning - 2014

Neue Atelier in Burghausen - 2015

Exhibition "The Power of Cow" Bauerngerätemuseum Ingolstadt 2. April bis 2. Juli 2017

Exhibition "Alles ist Vergänglich, nur der Kuhschwanz, der bleibt länglich" mit Friedrich Voltz Ausstellung 25. August bis 3. Oktober 2017 - eine gemeinsame Ausstellung mit Werke von Pete Kilkenny und Werke aus der Nachlass Friedrich Voltz zu seinen 200ster Geburtstag - auf der Burg Tittmoning



Collection of artwork completed by Pete Kilkenny
Artwork on a book
Mirror image of the artist Pete Kilkenny
Painting hung nicely on wall
Pete Kilkenny oberserving the finished piece