ARTIST CLAYTON COLVIN IS LOST ON SPACE MOUNTAIN
by Cody Owens photos by Stephen Humphreys
Think of the infinite amount of ways you can fill space. Without even thinking, you are filling space right now. It’s kind of what we do, at least for the brief flicker in time we get here on earth and hereafter when we leave behind our bones. Think of this little rock we call home, floating like a spec in the perpetual depth of the universe. Think of how small we are.
As I sat and stared at some of Clayton Colvin’s artwork in his exhibition of new paintings Space Mountain, I couldn’t help but get lost in the infinitesimal thoughts that his work evokes. I remember thinking, how you choose to fill your space makes you distinguishable and uniquely you.
Colvin’s new exhibit Space Mountain, explores this concept of space and our own distinct perceptions as it pertains to his art. The exhibit is going on until January 21st, and will mark the end of his first solo show with the Beta Pictoris Gallery. Colvin’s work deals with space and two juxtaposing ways of dealing with it, by filling in with internal structure and washing over it with color. His works lends the notion that art can be a vessel for studying underlying perspectives as well as the delicate nature of architectural design.
“Many of the studies are of very ordinary events,” Birmingham Weekly publisher Stephen Humphreys said. Humphreys, who trained in art history at Princeton, admits that even he had to slightly calibrate his own perspective when looking at some of Colvin’s work. “When I was looking at some of the photos I saw one that I thought was a geisha in a kimono kneeling, but the underlying photo it was taken from is really the artist taking out the trash,” Humphreys said. Who among us knew that the way we fill the space in our trash cans has the potential to be a transcendental work of art? Ok, who else besides Clayton Colvin-- anybody?
Colvin has refined his spatial awareness to the point where he seems to effortlessly fuse together seemingly mundane elements with fantastically complex depth and further understanding. When you look at some of his work, you instantly sense the familiarity of the image. You see it, and feel it, but it’s like seeing the world from a whole new angle—or dimension. Colvin’s abstract approach has the unparalleled ability to rope you in with familiarity and subsequently leave you happily lost in the depths of his spatial composition.
The name of his exhibit, Space Mountain is a reference to how Colvin approaches and expresses his interest of pictorial space as the subject matter in his work. After all, how we fill our space is the quintessential element of our identity. Colvin not only realizes this, but underlines this idea in his work.
The exhibit opened at Birmingham’s Beta Pictoris Gallery (2411 2nd Ave. N.) on December 6th and ends on January 21st . Clayton Colvin’s work is too good to miss, so be sure to support your local arts movement and pay the good people down at Beta Pictoris Gallery a visit. Unlike the endless potential that space can offer us, this exhibit will surely end, sooner rather than later. You can also visit the Beta Pictoris website www.mauscontemporary.com for more information.