Vail art: Mixing ancient and modern techniques |

Vail art: Mixing ancient and modern techniques

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO COlorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyItalian artist Carlo Trost's opening reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Vail International Gallery in Vail.

VAIL, Colorado –Look at Italian artist Carlo Trost’s resin piece “Infinito” for long enough and it feels like you’re staring into a bright blue ocean.

“There’s a very alive, kinetic feel to his work,” said Vail International Gallery co-owner Marc LeVarn. “It’s almost like this is the ancient doorway to the ocean.”

Trost called the piece “Infinito” because every day you can look at the piece from the same place, maybe four feet away, and it always looks different.

“The light changes or my mood changes and I see it differently,” he said.

The piece for the frame was made by a “very important Italian framer” who uses reclaimed wood from beams in houses that are hundreds of years old, Trost said.

“The idea is to mix ancient techniques with modern ones,” Trost explained in halting English during an interview at the gallery this week.

The “ancient techniques” are from the 15th century, he said.

The piece is one of nearly two dozen of Trost’s work on display at Vail International Gallery through March 27. An opening reception with Trost, who hails from Udine, is set for Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery.

LeVarn has sold Trost’s work since 2006. Trost is known for his wood pieces, much of which are colorful and striking in their simplicity. Large and small scale wood sculptures, paintings and a few resin pieces are included in the exhibit.

Last year Trost began creating the resin pieces, which start with sheets of composite wood that he intricately carves. Afterwards, he pours resin on top of the wood to complete the piece. They can take up to three weeks to create.

Trost trashed a lot of pieces when he first started, he said.

“It was a very long and troublesome process. Sometimes it was very, very sad,” Trost said.

The majority of Trost’s subject matter is natural. Leaves and water appear in many of his pieces, which is something gallery visitors relate to, LeVarn said.

“I think people come here for the natural beauty and (Trost’s work) ties into naturalism,” LeVarn said. “Another thing I like is his design concepts are so original and they summarize a natural subject very succinctly in a contemporary design.”

Pointing at one of the leaves adorning a wood wall hanging, Trost said the leaf represents the four seasons and balance in nature. It’s also a sacred shape.

“It’s the shape that envelopes the Madonna, like an aura,” he said. “Also in Buddhism and Indian culture, you find this shape.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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