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JEFF STARR : Smile    Mar 14 - May 4, 2013


Robischon Gallery is pleased to present four distinctive concurrent solo exhibitions exploring themes of magic-realism, phantasmagoria and the absurd. Referencing a vast range of art-historical and cross-cultural sources, artists Kahn + Selesnick, Christian Rex van Minnen, Terry Maker and Jeff Starr playfully provoke and engage via a complex mix of surreal storytelling and a fevered visual flux.

The free-wheeling spirit of Jeff Starr’s painting and sculpture in “Smile” evokes a sense of spatial and temporal elasticity. The artist states, “’Smile’ is a reflection of my interest in popular imagery combined with abstraction as well as suggesting vintage record album cover designs. Also, the title refers to The Beach Boys’ “Smile Sessions,” an abortive attempt to write an American response to the Beatles seminal art-pop album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” As the band’s history unfolded, the “Smile Sessions” ended in disarray – a quality with which Starr has imbued within his grin-filled work.”

Starr, as writer/curator Simon Zalkind states, “replicates the look of suburban amateur painters as he meticulously delineates every eyelash. He can imitate a faux-naïve style while creating epic dramas of urban and suburban disintegration that manage to look modern, yet also futuristic and folksy. Lots of contemporary painters take their conceptual lead from the kind of terrific, unselfconscious paintings you’re more likely to find in thrift stores than in consecrated art-world spaces. Starr embraces a sense of the “homemade” and of options both inside and outside of art history, options whose roots are psychic, private and vulnerable, as well as “canonical.”

A recipient of an National Endowment for the Art Visual Arts Fellowship Grant, a Co-Visions Colorado Council on the Arts Grant and a Colorado Federation of the Arts Fellowship, among others, Jeff Starr has exhibited in notable venues including Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Singer Art Gallery, Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities and Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas. Starr’s work has been the subject of many exhibitions and articles and his public installations include The West, The Worker, The Battlefield at Denver’s Coors Field.



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