Sipping wine and genially discussing the new paintings covering the beige walls Saturday night at Gallery 33 in Old Town, art enthusiasts from Fort Collins got their first look at "Metamorphosis" — featuring paintings by Thane Gorek and Zack Kullinger.
Although the two artists shared the gallery, the painters' styles are very different and somewhat contrasting.
Gorek's art is steeped in surrealism.
The subjects in his paintings seem to be sad, mutant figures with hollow looks — creations of his intuition.
Gorek said that it was obvious that the surrealist painters had a huge impact on his own art. But lately Gorek has been mixing it up with other forms.
"Lately, I have been influenced with a lot of Renaissance and mid-evil art, which mixed with the surrealist art gives an interesting combination," Gorek said.
Some of the main themes in Gorek's art have to do with destitution, loneliness, animal-human mutation and fetal conceptions.
"My work is not really grounded in reality," Gorek said. "I draw a lot of things that look modern."
Although Kullinger wanted to progress as an artist, his work is still reminiscent of his origins as a graffiti artist.
"I didn't want to live that lifestyle of hiding behind a bush, painting a wall and running away. So I started doing stuff on canvas," Kullinger said.
Kullinger's art is an exploration of industrial and American chaos.
With a modest education in art at Front Range Community College (which he never finished), Kullinger's work presents a modernistic edge with no apology for his honest depictions of the streets.
Starting graffiti when he was 16 years old, Kullinger never forgot about his past and his love for spray paint.
"I was influenced by a lot of graffiti artists," Kullinger said.
Spray paint, being the primary tool in most of his artwork, shows his influences and informal art training.
"I don't start with an idea in mind," Kullinger said. "(The paintings) just come to me. I love the feeling of it; painting with a brush gives an emotion."
Most of his urban stories on canvas feature the melancholy of humanity.
"Depressed females and males, that's part of life. People don't want to really talk about that but it's something everyone has to deal with," Kullinger said. "But at the same time it's beautiful."