Painter Dennis Crayon uses scraps of old photos as starting points for his paintings and expands outward, using his imagination to fill in the story and objects outside the bounds of the snapshot. It may look as if the torn photograph is embedded on the surface of the painting, but it is not. Crayon is a skilled trompe-l’œil artist, and tricks the eye with his expert realism; perfectly capturing every delicate detail to make his paintings seem three-dimensional. “That Which Was Once Whole” will be featured in The Art League gallery, December 7, 2016–January 2, 2017.
During an archeological dig near Pompeii in 1998, Crayon saw and became moved by the incredible remnants of Pompeian frescoes. Inspired what he saw in Pompeii, Crayon created this series of paintings to explore and think about the past. With a decidedly modern composition, Crayon uses fragments of old photographs to masterfully complete the lost story, making it whole again. Many of the photographs Crayon uses are family photographs from his childhood, which gives the piece an added sense of nostalgia. The snapshot is often in perfect focus while the background is faded, drawing parallels to memory. “Some memories are really sharp and in focus and others have faded. This gives each piece a sense of time, and reflects on the impermanence of life.”
Crayon notes that he embraces the classical traditions of realism tracing back to the Renaissance masters, and is especially inspired by Caravaggio and Vermeer. “By adding rich, vibrant colors to this traditional structure, I enhance my paintings’ emotional impact.”
Crayon holds a BFA in graphic design from SUNY Buffalo, and he studied classical painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Upon moving to Washington, DC, Crayon fully immersed himself in classical painting techniques and the trompe l’oeil style at Zoll Studio of Fine Art in Timonium, MD and at The Art League. His award-winning work has been exhibited throughout the country. Crayon is an active member in the Washington, DC artistic community and is a member of The Art League and the Arlington Artists Alliance.
Monday–Saturday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon–6:00 pm