Van Goghs gloomy Wheatfield With Crows is thought to be a prediction of his impending suicide. Picasso bathed a series of paintings in blue to convey his sadness over a friends tragic death. So what would a psychiatrist make of local artist Chad Godt, a figurative painter whose abstract works depict skulls with cavernous black eye sockets? I don't see them as morbid, Godt says. In fact, I view my paintings as hopeful and uplifting. I have been interested in bones for a long time now -- the idea of stripping away everything to get to the basics of who we really are. Yeah, thats uplifting -- especially considering that most people would rather face death than reveal their innermost selves to the world.
As for Godt, he readily admits to the skeletons in his own closet. While attending graduate school in Pennsylvania, he nearly burned down the art building when a work-in-progress caught fire. Luckily, the quick-thinking artist was able to douse the flames in a nearby sink. The sculpture turned out fantastic, Godt says, but the building smelled horrible for a couple of weeks. I blamed it on the undergrads.
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Godts latest works are displayed at a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. August 3. The exhibit also features tongue-in-cheek paintings by Aspen artist Doug Olson in which radical political figures are paired with unlikely lovers.