Just in time for Denver Arts Week, the works of Denver artist Rogelio Quinones will be on display beginning Saturday, November 3 at X Bar on Colfax. For the next three months, visitors can peruse his striking collection of abstract and surrealist paintings, illustrations, and mixed media.
Quinones—whose work also is currently on display at L’Avant Garde Arts Center—was born in Mexico and moved with his family to Denver when he was two years old. The North High School alum credits an elementary school teacher with first leading him to art. “She took me to museums that introduced me to European artists and those masters,” says Quinones who briefly tried art school in the 1980s but left once he realized the program was holding him back creatively.
The artist’s distinct style fuses abstract colors, lines, and shapes into drawings and paintings that recall the work of Picasso, Miro, and Dali. Quinones also often depicts bizarro-cartoon characters—the result, he says, “of hefty doses of classic, mid-1950s Looney Tunes.” Most of his projects are rendered on wood or canvases he scrounges up during his regular forays to thrift stores, flea markets, and through Denver’s alleyways. “I like found pieces of wood or canvas,” he says. “I either work with the image that’s already on there, or I paint over it. I love when artists create something completely new from something someone didn’t want.”
Quinones says that his longtime devotion to Denver’s art community has lately been rewarded with a local creative renaissance. “There’s a lot of talent here, and it’s gotten a lot easier to get your art shown somewhere,” he says. “The tendency is for people to think that Colorado artists just do landscapes, horses, and cowboys and stuff, but it’s so varied here now. It’s a nice melting pot of different ideas, and a lot of artists hold onto that and make it contemporary.”
—Image courtesy of Rogelio Quinones
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