Denver, Colorado, like many big cities around the world, is jam packed with artistic talent and art culture. It's art districts, businesses and tattoo shops are filled with creativity and beauty by artists who awaken with joy in their purpose and an obvious passion that inspires and amazes all who can see. With art, one can express freely what lies within their hearts when words cannot always describe the emotions that live inside them. When this can be expressed with honesty and purity without fear or reservation, you have something special. That is what we found in the work of this month's Spotlight artist, Bobbi Stark.
Within her collection of work, we find an artist's connection to her subject in a way that honors it's soul with an attention not just to the details seen, but those unseen. Bobbi has a way of capturing life force and emotion and bringing it to life with images of nature, beauty, elegance and strength. With each piece there is both confidence and sensitivity that we can all identify with. Whether she's working in ink or paint; on skin or canvas, we certainly appreciate how her authenticity always remains the same. We would like to thank Bobbi for allowing us to share her work with you and encourage you to follow her career. For now, please join us in welcoming our September Spotlight artist, Bobbi Stark.
For me, communicating has always been easier without speaking. Writing, music, painting - these mediums allow me to get out of my head, which at times, can be a weird, dark, befuddled place. Painting specifically has always given me relief from my anxiety and perseverating dark thoughts. Art has always been my home in one way or another; it quiets the world and allows me to say what I couldn’t find the words to express.
I dabbled with collaging and painting in high school, but knew I would never be able to afford art school tuition. I attended Metro State University and studied writing instead. At the time, I worked the counter at a tattoo shop, which later led to me starting my tattoo apprenticeship while getting my bachelor’s degree.
Although I come from a long lineage of artists, including my grandmother and my mother, I never trusted myself as an artist until about a year into my tattoo apprenticeship. A co-worker constantly criticized my artwork, saying it wasn’t worth much, so I painted my first acrylic portrait to prove her wrong. It wasn’t that great, but I exceeded expectations, especially mine.
It's amazing the things we are capable of when people around us tell us we aren’t good enough to be capable of anything. Spite is a powerful motivator when the world tries to drag you down.
I’ve been tattooing for eight years now, mainly in Denver, Colorado. Its not something I ever imagined I would be doing with my life, but here I am. I’m honored to have the privilege of making a life of my love and passion. My daily canvas is a tangible, living organism. The trust people put in my hands to permanently change their appearance, will always humble me.
My work is not without its challenges: at times my mental and emotional faculties are worn thin. The expectations, criticisms, egos, social pressures and the ever evolving techniques and styles can feel insurmountable. Pushing myself toward optimal performance through practice and education can be exhausting. However, the labor, community and culture of tattooing has changed my life in beautiful ways.
I paint with acrylics, because they have always been the most affordable and transportable medium available to me. I began as a black and grey artist, but in the past few years have expanded into color, which has been developing my style in ways I never imagined.
Nature, inspires me: bones, flowers, plants, animals - the organic life and death, poignant and simple.
When I paint, it's just me and my brushes, it's my survival, my access to a more fulfilling life. In art, there are no expectations, no rules, no one to please. Just me, my ideas and the quiet. That's really what I live for, those moments when I’m at peace, when I’ve completed a work that reflects the parts of myself I don’t see very often.
"It's amazing the things we are capable of when people around us tell us we aren’t good enough to be capable of anything. Spite is a powerful motivator when the world tries to drag you down."
"That's really what I live for, those moments when I’m at peace, when I’ve completed a work that reflects the parts of myself I don’t see very often."
A great specter is looming over the art world: the specter of Inter|Sekt. For far too long we have watched the artists of our generation turned into a disposable commodity, bought and sold by the galleries, stifled in their expression by the tastes of the art consultants who purchase pieces on behalf of financially minded clients who want a "solid investment".
They have been amalgamated into schools, said schools are a device of gallerists and art historians to divide and conquer the creatives and free thinkers.
For we live in a nation which thinks itself to be free yet is not, they expect the same of their artists.
Our culture has been raped and plundered by the upper echelon, picked apart and sold by the same greed mongers who claim to be it's patrons. The tool which has most effectively stunted the growth of modern American art in particular is the clever indoctrination of this idea of schools to not only the art student but anyone whom even reads a brief survey of the history of art sees that it is broken up into these categorized schools; ultimately the philosophies of these various sects creates conflict, division, and ultimately destruction of the morale and submission to the established order. Thus rendering the creative spirit confused and useless.
This helps curb the rebellious spirit of the average citizen outside of the art world in other spheres of society.
Art history is a lie and galleries are dens of thieves!
Inter|Sekt is not destroying the schools or the galleries, we are simply showing you they were never real, at least not in a world outside of that constructed by academics to sell text books to art students.
The reign of the gallerists and art consultants is over when you want it to be.
From the ashes of the indoctrinated schools of every form of art shall arise The New World Creative.
-Steven Lee Matz-
The inter|sekt manifesto