Friday, January 3, 2020

Walker Fine Art - Denver

Live artfully.

I embraced an artful experience to celebrate my fiftieth birthday by visiting a few galleries around Denver, which is becoming a true fine arts center and literal playground for the art enthusiasts. One particularly engaging locale worth the visit is Walker Fine Art, " ... a contemporary loft-style gallery, featuring contemporary art." I visited just in time to catch the last few days of the "Layers of Existence" exhibition which was written about so eloquently and insightfully (as always) by Ray Rinaldi, a thoughtful and erudite art writer and critic. If Ray writes about it, I will probably have to visit.

Walker's "exploration of identity and existence" is beautifully curated, and I really love the use of space in this loft. There is much to see and plenty of room to take it in from multiple perspectives. Additionally, the staff was a great help in appreciating the art, and I enjoyed them taking the time to talk about the art, particularly the work of Farida Hughes, whose series "Blends" is featured. These abstract "portraits" are captivating in their own right for the use of color and texture; but to explore the artist's statement and intention with these actual portraits of people is to connect with the art on multiple levels.

The Blends series of paintings serve as a way to explore my own multi-culturalism as a uniquely blended individual, as well as collect and combine stories from other friends and acquaintances. This series began as an experiment to use content as a way into abstraction. The paintings develop from solicited lists of real peoples’ cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as the stories that come along with the lists. The blended-ness of people creates interesting identity issues that my “portraits” explore through formal investigation: colors are clean, but layered together they become new shapes, and the paintings develop as I incorporate the parts into harmony. I explore edges where intentions slip and overlap, forming areas of rejection or incorporation, all with shimmering, saturated color and a glass-like surface that leans toward reflection. Each piece is slowly developed in layers, and is as carefully composed as it is considered in light of the individual story from which it originates.

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