Understanding oneself is the work of a lifetime — a subject that has been the focus of centuries of artwork. That includes “Birth of Self and the Complexity of Ego,” Viktor Frešo's new exhibit at K Contemporary gallery.
Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Frešo's work is difficult to characterize, oftentimes blending elements of sculpture and wall-art together, and the work on display in this show invites the viewer to consider how one views themselves and others.
The exhibition runs through April 24 at the gallery, 1412 Wazee St in Denver. In an effort to maintain social-distancing measures, guests are limited to five per exhibition and require advanced reservations. K Contemporary is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
“The work in the exhibit is really interesting, especially the well-known as `Pičus,' figure,” said Doug Kacena, artist and owner of K Contemporary. “I really like the enormity of the scale of the work, and how confronting they are. They look really full of themselves in some way, but you're almost sympathetic to them, even while you're judging them.”
Frešo's Pičus made its debut in 2013 and in the years since has been on display all over Europe.
“The figure evokes the essence of negative emotions that people try to hide all of their life, while his physicality simultaneously reminds us of the ridiculous and insignificance of his self-proclaimed importance and arrogance,” said Frešo in a provided statement.
The exhibition was supposed to be on display in April of 2020, but since Frešo is based in Europe, when COVID-19 shut down borders all over the world, it had to be rescheduled. But Kacena said it was important that his work be highlighted, not only because of its quality, but also because of the mission of K Contemporary.
“We want to take this amazing art scene in Denver and elevate it to a national and international scale and level,” he said. “We're always asking how we can bring important cultural dialogues from the rest of the world to Denver. It's surprising me that Viktor isn't well known in the US yet, because his work is very important and beautiful.”
What visitors make of Pičus and Frešo's — like all art — will depend on the person, but Kacena believes everyone who sees it will have a reaction and he hopes people investigate and discuss that reaction.
“What's so beautiful about art is that at a time when it's so easy to think you're alone in this world, you can have these connections with art while going through your own unique challenges,” he said. “I want people to take a look at the ideas around ego and how they feel about this character — is there a representation in there of themselves, or someone else?”
For details and to make a reservation, visit www.kcontemporaryart.com/show/k-contemporary-viktor-freso-solo-exhibition.
A passport to deliciousness on West Colfax
Lakewood's West Colfax is preparing to launch Passport West Colfax, which runs the entire month of April. The collect-and-win campaign highlights the small restaurants that have been working hard to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants need to collect stickers from favorite spots like Chicago Style Beef and Dogs, Saffron Grill and Our Daily Bread and share their collection on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by tagging @WestColfax and using the hashtag #ShopWestColfax.
Those who collect 15 stickers will be entered in a contest to win a variety of prizes, while restaurants can win a $500 micro-grant. Visit www.westcolfax.org/passport for all the details.
Clarke's Concert of the Week - Brandi Carlile from the Ryman Auditorium
If you've never seen Brandi Carlile perform live, then there is one simple thing you need to know — she's the kind of performer who will absolutely stomp through and wreck you in the best possible way. She's a can't-miss talent, and if you can see that fact proven from the comfort of your own home, so much the better.
Carlile will be hosting her first full-band livestream show from Nashville's legendary Ryman Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 28. According to provided information, The Looking Out Foundation will donate $2 from each ticket sold to benefit Nashville charities and the band and crew.
The show will be available for rewatch through April 11. Visit https://brandicarlile.veeps.com/ to get a virtual spot.
Streaming style — Stories from Wartime lecture series
Regis University's Center for the Study of War Experience is bringing its 26th annual Stories from Wartime lecture series to the virtual world this year. The series will be at 6 p.m. every Thursday but one in April via Zoom and will feature not only a discussion of war but the way race affects these experiences.
Topics of discussion include "War and Memory: Commemorating African American Service” and the final event will be April 29 will highlight students' research into the life and death of World War II officer Walter Springs, a Regis student who was killed by a white officer while preparing to serve the country.
The sessions are free and open to the public, so visit www.regis.edu/warexperience for details.
Clarke Reader's column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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