First Friday Santa Cruz



Darrah Robinson

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My paintings are meditations on my daily life, usually depictions of figures I have a relationship with in some form. Seeing is the most exciting part of living for me, painting allows me to share what I see with others.

My paintings depict figures suspended in an abstracted space based on a real location. My subjects often include my friends and family– the people I spend the most time with. My work is often inspired by a snapshot I took on my phone, the idea being that I thought there was something about a moment that I am not done thinking about. Painting people I know provides a way for me to spend time practicing gratitude for these people and a way to use what I know about them and how I feel about them to create a compelling composition. My compositions are constructed with well defined shapes filled with flat color as well as figures and other elements that are more rendered. I choose colors and shapes based on the feelings that arise when I think about a person. The contrast between the flat unmodulated shapes and the rendered figures balances the composition and invites the viewer to contemplate what we focus on and to what degree we abstract and deflect parts of our lives.

I feel that we often move through life too quickly and miss out on interesting details and the ferocious beauty that often surrounds us. Painting gives me an opportunity to take time to absorb and fully experience the moments that fascinate me the most, like siblings sharing a lollipop during a pandemic, or the feeling of being trapped in tragedy when I witnessed close friends grieve the loss of one of their idols. These moments are important to me, and I know others feel the importance of certain moments in their lives too. This will encourage viewers to pause in their own lives and take a longer look at what is important to them. My goal is to encourage people to pause and choose to engage in a more thoughtful way that is true to themselves.

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