You may have seen his work during the DNC in the area of the Manifest Hope exhibit and celebration, within the Urban Nature exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens, or on the cover of an Atmosphere CD. And if you’ve missed all these, you can see his work Friday, November 7 when Delton Demarest throws yet another solo sow, “Gimme My Stapler,” this time at IndyInk (www.indyink.com) in Denver (84 South Broadway).
Steeped in a vengeance theme, Delton’s pieces of fury are pulled from film, including the roar of “300”’s King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), the magnificent trio from “Goodfellas,” and the fierce stance of Wolverine from “X-Men.”
One to of course, draw light to the inspiration behind this tenacious show, the quiet character Milton in “Office Space” who reaps the rewards of revenge at the end of the film after he gets back his stapler, and and a Pina Colada on the beach.
Walking into Delton’s workspace, it is one of a true artist. There is no heat, and his coat shows the evidence of paint from pieces past. The gallery is located next to a railroad, and a train makes it’s presence known as we delve into conversation and Delton pops the biggie size can of Red Bull.
So why the vengeance theme? The answer has less to do with the artist’s emotion and is centered more on the expression of the subject’s emotion, presented through a spray can versus the traditional medium of oil and brush. “I wanted to explore a more difficult subject matter,” Delton explained. “Facial expression, anatomy, things like that.”
His last show at TH’NK TANK was similar to this technique, but was based on portraiture. “There was some figurative work in it. There was a larger piece from ‘Kill Bill’ that had arms, torso, where she was holding a sword. So I got to explore that a little more, but that was more focused on the face at this size. This time I wanted to explore the full background, along with the emotion a little bit more in terms of the technique…push myself into try to take a something that’s more than just the face.”
Looking over at the mostly finished face and body of King Leonidas and the scenery surrounding his charge, Delton continues, “Even if people aren’t keen on the movie, or if you don’t understand Milton, it’s not about taking the images from right from the movie, it’s about the technique, for me at least. If I’m going to do this, I have to challenge myself.”
His goal was to use the traditional methods and color range from both professional and regular spray paint to create a spray paint interpretive version of the original, which at the same time, adheres closely to its integrity.
“As with the last show, even though they were pop icons, this gave it a new feel. A gritty, raw effect with no acrylic, no oil, no stencils or anything.” The shift this time around was incorporating that background, as opposed to a flat color with the subject as the only focus.
Staying true to his goal, Delton also stayed away from using tips and tools that could give him more control over fine lines, in an effort to force his hand to learn the ways of layering and detail through a regular tip and method. The result is more opacity and a blend of color over color, to ultimately achieve the finished piece.
“There are guys, some that I’ve taught and some out here in Denver, that are doing similar things, but at the same time they’re not using the same tools. It’s not an arrogance thing; it’s more or less just for me to push myself in that direction. I want to force myself to get better.”
In addition to this Friday’s “Gimme Back My Stapler” show at IndyInk, he’s also created a food inspired piece for the new Arcos Azules art gallery (www.arcosazules.org) in Five Points, located at 2717 Welton. The show entitled “Delection,” is about “Art inspired food/Food inspired Art,” and opens as well this Friday, November 7.
Delton was invited to participate once again in the Denver Plain Air show, which he participated in last year and will show at next Friday, November 14.
Needless to say, Delton’s dance card is staying pretty full, and he’s already sold one of his “Stapler” pieces to a collector of his art.
“I complain when I don’t have work and complain when I have too much work,” he laughs, but overall, he’s content with how his life and art is running these days. “I just need to find time for an actual vacation.” I hear ya there.
Tune in for Part II of our interview with Delton Demarest in next week’s issue.