First of all it's not a pile of beer

cans on the beach

Kenny La Roche practices a form of both Outsider Art and Adventure Theology but we do not practice nor condone either vandalism or brandalism. Kenny is a group artist and we range from a solid core of 4 to 20 and more when we take the field on a major spike. We use as our metaphor - and weltanschauung - the myth of Alchemy and its processes. Kenny La Roche, like all true Alchemists, believes that god needs us just as much as we need god. It is the business of the Opus in Alchemy to raise and redeem the Spirit which has fallen into Matter. It is the crisis of modernity to live in a world where Nature has been thoroughly Disenchanted, where the Deity has absconded, and where Corporate Prayers end only in nouns.

We live and work along the45th Parallel North where we are slowly constructing the first Post-Post Modern Cathedral on earth. Our work is multimedia; besides the Cathedral, we fashion a range of Alchemical "Objets" as well as Icons and Giclée Poster Art. As an artist, we aim towards an edgy kind of non-representational but oddly iconic formalism which uses elements of both spatial and temporal dimensions in a reblending of mythic images. In other words we create and place meaningful objects in the natural environment for short periods of time - watching how "meaning" affects the viewshed and how nature is entrained in semiotic discourse concerning the sacred and the profane. Then we take it down and walk away. For the most part we place our art in that part of the public landscape called "the seldom seen" - off trails and away from the picturesque, on topology which needs meaning. In this way we are analogous to the medieval cathedral builders who would sculpt delicate statuary and tracery on high and hidden parts of the edifice which would never be seen. They did it for the glory of god. So do we, but we also do these things for what this says about meaning. Kenny La Roche uses Alchemy the way Danté used the concept of a "Divine Comedy" - a "ludos" or "play" which was admittedly false on the historical/literal level but which transcended its duplicity to become "True" on the Universal level - more than a fable, more than an allegory or a pun - a metaphor with an attitude - a kind of lie which tells you it's a lie but then warns you to watch as it transforms into the truth.
A Caveat: While nothing in this website is legally obscene there are materials that may offend certain sensibilities.

Alchemy uses imagery and metaphor to illustrate the universal processes of Abstraction - of movement to a higher plane. Alchemy reveals the presence of the Divine within the Work and not outside of it - a shard of god still illuminating matter as a part of it - not a spark in the storm, but the heart of the storm itself. In the myth of Alchemy the absconded god is lost within his creation and it is the Work of Alchemy - and all of the "Arts" - to free the Spirit caught in Matter. Kenny La Roche puts meaning back into disenchanted Nature which has lost its soul to man.
We're not dangerous.

We're just eccentric.

Our Cathedral is distributed in space and time. It is not a building nor is it Sectarian. It is not on or near a public square, nor is it the seat of a bishop. Victor Hugo called a Cathedral a "Stone Book" and that's closer to our intentions. A Cathedral is a "Summa" - a total belief system made sensory. Everything known about the truths of the world was carved in stone across its facade or intricately bejeweled in glass in the huge windows whose function was to let in the light and illuminate the world lurking under the fiction of forms. All of a Cathedral's proportions were mirrors of the abstract logarithms with which god infused a providence into creation. Golden Means and Pythagorean angles stitched the vaults to the long naves and their bearing columns. A Cathedral was an encyclopedic rendition of the order of the cosmos in stone, steel, wood, and colored fabrics and glass. Kenny's Cathedral - Our Lady of the Ligne - is spread out over the 45th Parallel North and it too is composed of like materials and intentions. The West Porch (Grandiflora) was installed on top of a 200' high wooded dune along the Lake Michigan shoreline and consisted of 19 large stones and boulders hung under the canopies of hardwood trees in 3 concentric circles which graphically illustrated a Bell-Shaped Curve. The East Porch (Gabriel) of Our Lady of the Ligne was installed a few hundred yards from the West Porch on top of a similar high, wooded dune and it was composed of a half-ton rock with dactylic bent iron wings hung high up in a large Oak and seemingly descending on a group of 7 rocks tightly wrapped in cold-rolled steel and anchored within a frame to the ground. The 7 wrapped rocks (Ascenders) were also set within 3 concentric circles of the same diameter as those in the West Porch but inversely convex to the opposite porch's concave curvature.
For a Reliquary, Kenny Suspension-Tension hung a 500 pound rock within a steel frame and then hung it 40 feet high on a wire strung between two giant hardwoods on the top of an impossibly steep dune about a mile away from the Cathedral's Porches. We called it the Head of John the Baptist and therefore Our Lady of the Ligne joins the 5 European Cathedrals as well as the Damascus Mosque which all claim to possess the true head of the Prophet. Since the parts of our Cathedral are on both public & private land their individual fates are closely tied to the goodwill of their "owners." Those on public lands, for instance, have been dismantled by Park Rangers and hunters, while some of those sculptures & hardscapes in private hands have been incorporated into garden & landscape uses of a purely personal nature. In this way Our Lady of the Ligne suffers the same fate as all the world's cathedrals: they rise and fall with the whims of weather, fire, local politics, and history. They are never totally completed nor are they confined to a single age. They are living monuments to what people think lies behind the masks of god as the masks wear away.

Kenny La Roche offers for sale a full line of Objets d'Art which illustrate the myths of Alchemy as well as other Icons of the Perennial Philosophy. We work mostly in stone, steel, and wood to produce artifacts which can grace both interior and exterior - things for the lawn, the woods, the porch, the den, the home chapel, or tucked under your Cathedral ceilings. We also accept private commissions to create personalized sanctuaries on private landscapes as well as customizing our offerings to fit your home's dimensions. Kenny thinks the "Opus" - the Work of our Hands - is the re-enchantment of our environment; he and she believe that Nature has been robbed of its soul and has therefore lost its meaning. We aim, in our Art, to start giving them back.

Like every Cathedral this site is under constant construction & reconstruction. It is content rich and branches out in unexpected directions. Bookmark us and keep coming back - there will always be something new. Once again, because of the sensitive nature of the site's content it may offend some thinkers, but for those who can remember in their blood what Adventure Theology was like back in the Upper Paleolithic when the image of god called out for its first mask - welcome home.
Current Mission will take you to the page where the Spike we are currently working on is fully explained & illustrated. Cathedral takes you to the page where we unpack the metaphor of the Cathedral & also where we lay out our accomplishments and plans for our own. Go to Alchemy for an overview of the Art & Science & the Faith of the Black Arts from the Black Land. Adventure Theology will illustrate & explain our concept of a "risk-based active faith." Finally, do please visit Outside Art so that we can explicate our place in the growing Post-Post Modern ("Post-Post") movement of what is called "Outsider Art" or "Art Brut."