Daniel Sprick‘s paintings aren’t ones a viewer simply dabbles in. Instead, the works pull you in, until you feel like an art student studying them for a make-or-break class assignment. Perhaps it’s their existence on just the other side of realism—realism that’s been abstracted through the artist’s individual quirks and preferences and placed on an unfinished background—that invites this sort of intense observance. It is, in fact, precisely why the 61-year-old Denver-based artist called his latest exhibition Fictions. Though the portraits (and still lifes and landscapes) are based on real people and places, he plays with that reality through his paintbrush. Sprick calls it a hybrid of the realism tradition of the 19th century and “current sensibilities”; I call it relatable fine art.

On view: See Sprick’s work in person during Fictions: Recent Works at the Denver Art Museum through November 2. Sprick started this series of more than 30 paintings in 2008—and it’s the first time many of them will be exhibited.

Can’t make it to the DAM or just want to know more about the artist? Check out the video below to hear Sprick talk about his work.

Meet the Artist: Daniel Sprick from 5280 magazine on Vimeo.

View all of our Meet the Artist profiles at 5280.com/meettheartist.

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.