All posts tagged: Federal RTD Station

Karl Addison : Creating Public Work for New Rail Line in Denver

Karl Addison : Creating Public Work for New Rail Line in Denver

The veils that separate our intellectual distinctions of art practice and theory are so quickly and easily pierced when viewing creative expression as lying upon a continuum. Somewhere between free improvisational, unauthorized, radical self expression (mark-making, graffiti, perhaps) and juried, approved, charted public art (institutional murals, perhaps) lie a thousand shadings of aesthetic expression – and myriad degrees of relationships between artist and passersby.

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Today we look at a commissioned public work by mural artist Karl Addison, who has previously engaged in less structured, free will art-making in the public.This kind of painting takes planning (over a year) and a number of people in Denver to approve it (20 or so panelists) before he could make his first mark.

Concept, budget, timelines, sketches – each element carefully considered with input from office holders and planners, a public project on a federal light rail station with permission is anathema to the approach of taggers and bombers of trains. Which is not to say that all bombers are antagonistic of public taste or wishes.

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Additionally, unlike many but not all Street Art festivals which simply plop down artists on empty walls without a proviso to even educate themselves about the community they are visiting, Addison says a main consideration was whether the community likes or approves of the work they would be left to live with. “I love working with local communities and the people that inhabit those places – they are the ones that take the ownership and passion for their public artwork to the next level.”

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

So here are new work-in-progress images from photographer Henrik Haven of Addison’s station, one of 8 new Federal RTD Stations along 11 miles of new track in Denver that will open this October. Addison says the forms of giants and small people are meant as placeholders, everyday archetypes if you will. His particular interest is color theory and the effect his careful washes and blends will have on train travelers.

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

“The giants are overlaid on a smooth gradient of color blending from a rich warmer purple, to soft creams and ice blues, to a deep rich purple into blue,” he says. “The color transition goes into green and lighter subsection exceeding to the far left along an Ashlar Stone facade.”

In the most integrated consideration, he hopes that his work is soothing, and he painstakingly created each effect to ensure it. “Each cinder block is painted one by one with the same color blends as the gradient – a map of larger color blocks so the viewer can start to translate the 90 colors used.”

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Federal RTD Station in Denver, Colorado. July 2016. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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