Mixing personal imagery and social commentary | VailDaily.com

Mixing personal imagery and social commentary

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
HL Dustin Zentz DT 8-11-08

For as long as Dustin Zentz can remember, he’s wanted to be an artist. Growing up in Michigan he took art classes all through school, then went to Kendall College of Art and Design. His grandfather was an artist, so it runs in the family. Now the 26-year-old Eagle resident makes a living with his paintings and antique furniture repairs.

“I would say as far as painting, it would be traditional, classical art, like the old portrait painters and the old Catholic religious painters,” Zentz said of his art. “(But) it’s pretty heavily influenced by contemporary art, graffiti, graphic design.”

Zentz’s work will be on display this weekend as part of the Red Cliff Studio Tour. Step into studio four at the Red Cliff Community Center on 400 Pine Street and you’ll see abstract paintings leaning against the walls that suggest images of the subconscious.

“The most recent thing I’ve been trying to work with is using new techniques to get old effects,” Zentz said.

He uses spray paint, house paint, oils and acrylics on the canvas (or, in this case, plywood) to achieve the look he wants.

“As far as subject matter, it’s a lot of personal imagery mixed with … social commentary,” Zentz said. He tries to keep his work vague so people can come up with their own interpretations.

Back in the studio, a pair of old chairs and an antique desk hang from the ceiling. He’s been refurbishing the furniture, he said. Zentz does custom, hand-crafted touch ups and repairs, which he learned from his grandfather and from years of working with other professional woodworkers.

“Most of the stuff here is a work in progress,” Zentz said, adding that there will be a lot of new stuff as well as some of his older work on display for the tour.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

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