True Colors

Posted online: April 2017


Raf Simon’s 2013 menswear collection.


Only Child, 2013, acrylic and flashe on canvas, 60 x 36 in.

To experience Brian Calvin’s color-saturated paintings, you need to be in the same space with them. What appears on a printed page (or screen) has little to do with the texture and intensity of his creations. Size too, is critical—most of Calvin’s works measure about five feet by seven feet—and the effect is powerful. Despite their figurative nature, Calvin avoids imposing narratives on his paintings: “Looking back at Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, it’s not the subject matter that anyone’s remembering,” he says.

A California native who lives and works in Ojai, Calvin received his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. He’s well- known internationally: Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons—who collects Calvin’s work—featured the artist’s images in his 2013 menswear collection. Calvin’s year-end plans include participating in an important museum group show in Oslo (Astrup Fearnley Museet). For 2017, London (Corvi-Mora) and Brussels (Almine Rech Gallery) are already on his exhibition list. Stateside, Calvin is represented by New York’s Anton Kern Gallery, L.D. PORTER



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