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Natalie Robinson and Darius Kian end a residency at James Black Gallery with an exhibition of their work.
The 2021 grads explore deconstruction and reconstruction of imagery in their elaborate oil paintings

Natalie Robinson (BFA 2021) and Darius Kian (BFA 2021) recently completed a month-long residency at James Black Gallery that culminates with an exhibition of their work.

Distortions is a painting exhibition that will be on display from December 9th to 14th. The work explores a process of sourcing images, heavily manipulating them with digital tools and then recreating them as oil paintings. Each of the artists’ series reflect this transformation from recognizable forms to augmentations that depict a personal reality. Darius and Natalie will present these paintings of their altered realities in an effort to better understand them, and connect with others who feel the same dissatisfaction with their own perspectives.

Natalie’s paintings are direct interventions of the world around her. The architecture inside her pieces are communal, homely, and nostalgic – but the paintings that represent these structures have been obstructed, layered, recolored, processed, pulled, and snipped. As Vancouver maintains its reputation as one of the most expensive and gentrified cities in the world, Natalie uses her art to liquify, puncture, and remove chunks of architecture that presents itself immovable and unobtainable.

Darius’ paintings are confrontations of male dominated spaces. They seek to use queerness as a tool of reclamation and reconstruction of these hypersexual places where the body is scrutinized. Masculine tableaus common in pop culture, like men’s locker rooms, bathhouses, and clubs are loaded with queer subtext, and this implicit queerness is brought to the forefront through use of a garish overly saturated color palette and illusory forms. Darius is hoping to capture the emotional duality of these spaces; for him they are places of anxiety, fear, and repression, that also drip with homoerotic fantasy.

Opening night is December 9th with gallery hours from 6pm to 10pm. Outside of the opening, you can visit the gallery from 2pm to 6pm from December 10th to 14th. The James Black Gallery is located at 144 E 6th Ave, Vancouver, V5T 1J5.

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