Outside The Lines

If packed First Fridays are any indication, Denver’s art scene is booming. Meet seven local artists who are dripping, collaging, and welding their way onto museum and gallery walls around the country.

September 2012

The Scientists

Monica and Tyler Aiello

Husband and wife Monica and Tyler Aiello are a study in opposites. In a small garage behind their Highland house, 41-year-old Monica crafts conceptual landscapes: layers of paint, ink, yarn, and tissue paper that mimic the geologic processes on planets and moons. After studying NASA images and talking to scientists, Monica hand-dyes fibers, splatters paint, and drips ink to show the timeline of evolution on one of Jupiter’s moons. “I’m not just trying to say, ‘Here’s an image; let me paint that landscape,’ ” she says. “It’s ‘How is that landscape formed, and what techniques can I develop to emulate or interpret that geologic process?’ ”

Tyler’s work takes a different shape. He welds, molds, and colors metal to show primarily the microcosmic aspects of our world: seeds, water structures, other universal formations. Every inch of his 2,700-square-foot workshop behind Sports Authority Field at Mile High is covered with tools, massive shelves, and works in progress. Tyler’s laborious method involves creating molds out of Styrofoam, coating them in plastic, wrapping the metal around—connecting hundreds of circles together—before having to cut it all off the mold and put it back together again. “I’m a builder,” he says. “I consider myself mostly a maker of things.”

Although the couple work separately, their pieces are best appreciated in concert: A broad image emerges from the repetitive shapes that abound in our universe, familiar but seen from an entirely new perspective. “The arts and sciences,” Monica says, “are a married entity.”

5280.com Exclusive: Meet artists Monica and Tyler Aiello.

Outside the Lines: A Conversation with Artists Monica and Tyler Aiello from 5280 on Vimeo.