The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. (The Arts Alley District) happily present a First Friday opening on Friday, July 4th, 2014. Modbo will host works by Brett Andrus, while S.P.Q.R. exhibits new work by Nina Peterson and newcomer Korri Oxford. Don’t miss this show, opening from 5:30 til midnight on July 4th, and open subsequent Fridays through July 25th. More info by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or going to http://www.themodbo.com. The Modbo and SPQR are located at 17b and 17c East Bijou, 80903. 719.633.4240
Nina Peterson developed an interest in oil painting a decade ago and began showing artwork in high school. While pursuing an undergraduate degree, she became a member of The Modbo Collective and exhibited her first solo show at SPQR in 2012. Later that year, Peterson entered a graduate program at the University of Denver, and she will complete a Master of Arts degree in Art History and Museum Studies in August 2014. Studying the history of art profoundly influences her artistic practice, just as her own creative endeavors benefit her academic pursuits. Her subject matter and narratives address societal perceptions of femininity, sexual violence against women, and the development of personal and cultural identities.
Describing the philosophical and intellectual maturation of a typically young, male protagonist, a bildungsroman is a literary genre that generally begins with the youth’s alienation, subsequently follows his trials, and usually concludes with his reintegration into society. Bildungsroman at the Modbo is Nina Peterson’s artistic rumination on a two-year period of self-exploration prompted largely by moving from Colorado Springs and entering a graduate program in Denver. Invoking the feminist rallying cry “the personal is political,” this body of work engages art created by women in the 1970s. Artists like Eleanor Antin and Ana Mendieta, who used their own bodies as the site of both individual reflection and social critique, inspired Peterson’s corporeal documentation and self-portraiture. Experimenting with various media, Peterson attempts to identify and subvert gender constructs in contemporary society by questioning how the rapid ascension of digital platforms and social media enforces expectations, dichotomizes or liberates sexuality, and transforms intimate interactions. Peterson wonders, What kind of growth resulted from my knowledge gained in school and my relationships built (or neglected) during this time?
Korri Oxford’s father was was a janitor for a local high school, and when the library annually threw out the old/obsolete books, he would rescue the art books and bring them home, and that’s where it started for Oxford. She studied those pictures– not caring for the text, but the images burned into her memory. Even if she didn’t like or understand what she was looking at, it was something she’d never seen before. Among the most impactful were “The Dead Mother,” “The Subway,” “Christina’s World.” and “Screaming Man.” They seemed to deal with the severity of feeling isolated in a social world. It’s something Oxford strongly identified with, and it is a recurring theme in her personal work. Oxford has been painting in oil under the instruction of Brett Andrus and Phil Lear for the last 2 years. She has been involved with multiple local art shows like Nocturnal Mockery, Mothma, and the Future Fossil Foundation. She volunteers at Life Skills High school, teaching art because she believes it’s important to have a creative outlet. Says Oxford, “Creating something new is an intoxicating challenge. I paint, because some things I want to see don’t exist.”
Regarding her latest work, Oxford says the following: “We all turn a blind eye to the ugly and understated, but in reality it makes up a considerable percentage of our existence, and I think it should be recognized, even if it’s unpleasant. That’s why I often paint darker subject matter. I paint with a lot of personal symbolism, some portraiture, and occasionally surrealism. My work sometimes questions authority and social convention, it analyzes personal dynamics, and destructive tendencies. I’m chasing a response from my audience, good or bad, the worst thing I can be is forgettable.”
In the Modbo, works from Brett Andrus’ latest show, Hypothesis, will be available. Andrus’ newest body of work is an experiment in working in a manner that was new and uncomfortable to him– many of the pieces are small, mixed media drawings, done on a more intimate scale. Thus the show’s title, “Hypothesis.” Andrus sees these pieces as an homage to the process changes he has embraced in the past few months. However, despite the new media, the new scales, he remains firmly in the realm of the narrative figurative, seeking to connect with the viewer on a sensual and emotional level. The viewer in these pieces acts as both witness and voyeur– sharing a clandestine moment with the artist’s subjects. Influenced by Egon Schiele, Kent Williams, and Jenny Saville, Andrus uses his fascination with realism to find his contemporary voice within the constructs of the classical female form.
A Colorado native, Brett Andrus studied painting and art history at the Savannah School of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001. Andrus divides his time between a career in the financial industry, co-ownership (with his wonderful wife Lauren) of the award-winning art galleries The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., directing and teaching at the newly formed ModboCo School of Art at Ivywild, working as a musician (in projects that include Waterbear, The Men of Deep Throat, Team Laser Wolf, and Headhum), and producing as a disciplined artist. Over the last fifteen years, Andrus has exhibited his work in Santa Fe, Denver, Atlanta, New York City, New Orleans, Trinidad and Colorado Springs.