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Artist of the Month - October 2010

Pete Apicella Showing Artwork at the Love Muffin Cafe

Pete Apicella
Pete Apicella

Local artist and friendly Moabite, Pete Apicella will be doing an independent one month display of original works at the Love Muffin Cafe starting on October 9th, Art Walk Day.

“It’s been a very productive year creating artworks and I feel happy and blessed to put on a show for the Moab Community. In younger years I spent a ton of time out here backpacking and hitchhiking falling in love with the beauty, vastness, and refuge possibilities that the redrock wonderlands represented. I wasn’t doing much art back then, it was more about a scrambling and rambling physical freedom. With time, I’ve grown more connected to internal freedom and exploration. Hence the art. The artistic journey is fully infinite. It’s not a world Google-Mapped from space. Each art mission is a true voyage of discovery. One is always the first, birthing into being things that have never existed before.”

Pete’s art incorporates super-saturated color bursts, undulating wiggled and spiral line trails, resilient plant and animal vitality, future-primitive spiritualism, and raw energy. His artscapes often have modern westerners living inside: hikers, climbers, jeepers, relaxers–21st century explorer forms. “I like conveying humans in nature and as nature. Also birds in flight. Clouds as birds. Shafts of light heavenward.

Something about being both in it and getting above and beyond it all. I don’t consider the work traditional landscapes. They are more like prismatic Funscapes.

“Before starting, I get barefoot and recite an “Artist’s Prayer” (from artist great Alex Grey) which helps get me in “The Zone.” When engaged artistically mind presentness is rich and worries fade. Back in June, I approached each work with few preconceptions of how “IT” should be. Over time, there’s more focus, fitting a piece inside a frame’s shape or imposing limits of detail or time. I often attempt new styles on the fly, experimenting my art edge, trusting and learning as I go. Sometimes I get a good result too, sometimes not, but I just keep rolling along. If I create something interesting and beautiful for this world, I’ve done a good job. If people have an “Ah-Ha Moment” then I’ve done the public end of the artist job well. That feeling gets sweeter when they bring art home into their living habitat.”

“ I’ve been structuring my time to make art 4 official days per month. Without this framework I’d make say only 4 pieces a year. Focused productivity helps advance technique and subject matter. It’s like being in a do-it-yourself art school. I feel making art is an homage to the epicness and spirit of this land. I have almost 1000 ideas for every one completed, but yes, the art has manifested. I’m certainly learning about the commercial side too.”

“I also create visuals trailside in places where I can interact with the public . I meet global travellers and help them have a deeper, multi-lensed experience of canyon country. If guests speak Chinese or Italian, they still dig the art and its relationship to the Earth. The awesome redrock does most of the inspiring really, I just add a bit extra. Because I sit for hours in one place, natural stimulus is absorbed in a certain saturated way, emanating out positively. I can help visitors observe detail and slow down. We talk about light and shadow, shape and color. We share. Also, travelers enjoy meeting a local Moabite. Our interactions support authenticity in their trip, that they are connecting to Moab too, not just the rock. People like working artists. We feed a sense of hope, spirit, and wonder into the soul.”

“My work is accessible not just in subject matter and price point, but in the simplicity of materials. I use heavyweight papers, colored pencils, magic markers, and UV black light reactive highlighters. I buy supplies at the local small businesses. Nobody needs special training or expensive equipment to have fun making art. Portability and cleanliness all contribute to this essential idea that ‘Yes, you can be creative. Just go out and do it and see what happens.’ I am reminded of when a school kid clan surrounded me in a elbow-nudging swarm. They were blown away that I was making cool art with the same stuff they had in their bookbags. Go figure. Adults approach me saying ‘Oh…so you’re THE artist.’ I reply, ‘Well....I’m A artist, and you are too, if you let yourself.’ I think people have their inner artist repressed or redirected over their years.”

“Folks say they like the Art, but I feel I’m just standing on the shoulders of Art Giants. Anyone at the local Moab galleries is super epic. Maybe one day I draw with the hyper-realistic precision of sci-fi or fantasy painters but my technique and approach at this point is in a different sphere. I make what I make, and some of it can appear more simply fun and whimsical which is really cool too. The colorful illustrations live with some visionary and natural psychedelic tendencies, rainbow-laden realms in a way.”

“Ultimately the art itself is a few steps ahead of anything I say about it. Once I’m able to describe what I’m doing too much, it’s old news, and I yearn for something different. The images stand on their own in multiplicities of meanings—take it all in and enjoy the ride. I thank everybody who has been an influence and a supporter.”

In addition to the Love Muffin Show, affordable prints are also available directly through Pete’s website at AquaFireArts.com.

 
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