By Griffin Swartzell
Though Denver artist Derrick Velasquez and Los Angeles artist David Spanbock live and work a thousand miles apart, they’ve been exploring some of the same themes. Lately, they’ve both been inspired by the changing landscapes and sprawling infrastructure in their cities.
“Derricks’ work right now is critiquing the architectural landscape of Denver, this idea of ‘New Denver,’ this faux-historic design,” says Daisy McGowan, director for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Galleries of Contemporary Art. “David’s work, while it looks more abstract, is about cities and roadways… you wouldn’t necessarily put them together and go ‘huh,’ but we’re finding these points of connection between speaking about cities and space and the built environment in different ways.”
Velasquez, Spanbock and 22 other artists will be part of Collectivity, an upcoming show at the downtown GOCA 121 gallery, curated from works by artists in the Durden and Ray collective, of which Spanbock is a member, and the multi-state Hyperlink art collective, of which Velasquez is a member. It’s curated by McGowan, Spanbock and Durden and Ray member Lana Duong, featuring 12 artists from each collective. Their works will be grouped according to emergent points of connection.
Another such intersection: Durden and Ray artists Dani Dodge and Alanna Marcelletti have all prepared soft-material sculptural pieces exploring the body, the feminine and what that means — the same themes that Hyperlink artists Amber Cobb and Theresa Anderson have been exploring. In addition to individual works, the exhibit will feature a large, site-specific collaborative piece. It’ll be a collection of video projections, objects, draped cloth and more, all built on a two-story scaffolding.
“What we’ve found is that artists, working very individually, are connecting to these themes that are pretty universal, and that’s why I think art has the ability to speak to all of us,” says McGowan. “[This show is] about connection, it’s about communication and cross-pollination and where that’s happening, even when we might not be aware that it exists.”