Vrba

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Kevin Vrba
Denver, Colorado - United States

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

It all started with a visit to my brother in Fort Collins, Colorado at a silk screen shop he was working in at the time, 1987. I was kind of bored, pacing the floors, he said to me, why don't you do a painting? I thought what a great idea! It had been some years since I had a chance to do some of my own creative art so I took it upon myself to do what I could. I found a board, laid it flat. I pulled some skins of some 1-shot paint colors and placed them out. Then I ran some horizontal runs with a paint stir stick. I found some metal shavings on the studio floor and placed them on the painting. This was my first conglomeration I had put together. I had studied art throughout school, but this was different. This was fun. No definite meaning, no teachers, just free flowing. It took me a while to create a true understanding of a style. At first my paintings where abstruse to each other. No true style. Then I created a painting I truly was fond of. It was similar to the first painting I did, except quite a few steps forward. From here I moved forward creating a style I never knew would be.

For the next four years, I painted in the basement of a friends house creating paintings similar to Jackson Pollock's. Not knowing who Pollock was, a friend introduced a biography about Pollock to me. Wow I thought! The stuff was like mine. I continued painting the way I knew it, eventually moving away from the Pollock like paintings. My paintings developed into a more free flowing style, less definition in the paint streaks. I depend on the mixtures of colors to create depth and illusion. Different colored paints weigh differently so this creates the technique I have evolved to today. 

In 1991, I made a move out to San Francisco seeking a difference from the Colorado life style. When I moved to San Francisco I took three of my most recent paintings that would fit in the back of a Caprice Classic. It was about one year before I found a work space to continue my desire for painting. I shared a space above an auto repair shop down in the mission with a friend that made costumes and stage settings. For some reason he was under the impression that I was going to do drafting projects rather than throw paint all over the place. Boy where they shocked! My painting creations only lasted so long there. I eventually found a studio/home in the lower height. It was in the old managers suite on the first floor behind the orbit cafe. This is where I created various styles that I still use today. Also, this is where I created my show "San Francisco" which was previously shown at the Space Gallery in Denver, Colorado on Larimer Street. 

In 1996 I took off on a world trip, leaving all my collections in the basement of an engineering firm I was working for. These paintings were in storage until 2000 when a friend of mine offered to bring them back in a trailer since he was returning to Colorado. I could not pass up this opportunity! 
  
After my trip from around the world I made it back to Denver, Colorado. I found a studio space down on 3060 Larimer Street. The floor layout was ideal for me because I could do the paintings I've always wanted to do. Big! Most of the paintings I did where 4 x 6 to 6 x 8. I played with the orientation of panels at various sizes, combining them to create one piece. The panels were opposite of hues and tones or highly mixed versus minimalistic. The studio eventually developed into a show case having art shows and parties for friends and patrons. My paintings began to grow in number so I took it upon myself to start hanging paintings at a friends loft space across the street, which at one time was one of Denver's early co-op galleries. They showed nicely there for all his endless events that were going on. Eventually the neighborhood started to go down hill and my pocket book was looking mighty slim, so I decided to close shop for a while to pay off the bills that were accumulating in 1998. 

It was about another year before I started painting. I was living with a friend in Montclair. He had a garage with a large enclosed carport. I sealed up the front end of the carport and pulled out the lights from Larimer Street and had myself an instant studio. It was great! It was a bit chilly at times but a vodka and o-jay would take the chill off. This is where I created my series "the vertical forest". This was my first series since Larimer Street which consisted of approximately ten paintings. I had the show in the loft space at the core art gallery. The show was a success and I still continue to create paintings similar to this style. 

It was time for me to move on to find my own house to move into. I found the perfect location on Verbena Street. The house was perfect. There were additions all around the house that I could use for studio spaces and many rooms to store paintings. The first show I created on Verbena was a show for the Core Art Gallery. It was another successful show selling most pieces. The show consisted of various paintings of new styles to old. But the favorites were the "nots" series. The paintings would just jump out at you. I've done several more of the "nots" paintings but they just don't stick around. I then created a show for the "Space Gallery". This show was based off of one of my very early painting called "Seasons". The new paintings were 4x6 with four panels.  Each panel represented a past painting or style I had done. The idea was to have none of these panels to go together visually. Kind of an imbalance. But once I pieced all the panels together they created one painting which brought all the variations together to create one. This was a fantastic show all though the opening was on September 15th, 2001, just after the fall of the towers. We had a great crowd which made it successful, but nothing moved. 

In April 2002 I found a gallery space that I have been looking at for years. Not sure of what I'm going to do with it but I'm sure it will be a great challenge, and of course great fun!