Classic paintings collide with SpongeBob and Ren & Stimpy inside Denver’s Leon Gallery

Cymon Padilla’s show of oil paintings at Leon Gallery is titled “re:mixture,” however it’s probably best described as a mash-up. Or, even more precisely, as a 10-car art pile-up.

Caravaggio’s & “Doubting Thomas” crashes into Donald Duck. Rodin’s & “Thinker” collides with SpongeBob SquarePants. Duchamp’s most notorious smashes into cartoon personalities Ren & Stimpy.

Throughout the show, Padilla slams the aged into the new, and also the classical into the modern day. He embraces formality simply to clobber it using comment. In one painting, he also reproduces Michelangelo’s “David,” however, dresses the face up with something which resembles clown makeup.

Irreverent? Maybe not in a blasphemous manner. Respectful? Certainly in a way that shows deference that is authentic.  Padilla and iconic imagery out of his own growing up is somewhere in the midst of this, using his brush to remember the work of the masters with some attachment, but pairing it. Harmless fun, really.

However, it’s also skillful, clever, at times humorous, and resolutely high tech.

Padilla starts then and it all on his own computer, loading up images choreographing them in regards to the display named GIMP,  a free, yet open source platform which functions like Photoshop. At its visual core, the job is spectacle; Padilla manipulates graphics, colors, relations, so they juxtapose in ways that are interesting.

Then he recreates his electronic concoctions on canvas. It’therefore that last step, making functions in oil instead then printing them out on surfaces digitally, as many artists do these days, making the paintings inviting and, in some ways, untrue. Padilla’s function doesn’t even carry any obvious artistic or social concerns, but the medium  connects him straight back to the masters at an appealing manner.

While it is clearly on Padilla’therefore, which means the final products are spectacular and surreal.

This is successful from Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the 19th century neoclassical painter known for his formal portraits of late-day French aristocrats. Ingres was a bit of a visual rebel himself, copying the detailed style of pictorial traditionalists like Raphael, but altering images, colour and perspective just sufficient to give them a modern (in his day, at least) pop.

In Padilla’so hands, the custom of altering the reality comes complete circle — call it sporadically using Ingres’ original functions getting their own improvements.

Two pieces, “Collage (blue)” &; ldquo;Collage (purple),” start with average Ingres portraits, one male, one female, and both high-society in stature. But Padilla goes to extremes.

She’therefore tinted a blue and her mouth and eyes are substituted from functions of art, together with her right eye lifted directly from the pixelated strip sensibilities of Roy Lichtenstein.

He&given a bouquet of color-saturated animation blossoms and rsquo; therefore turned purple. Though it is left devoid A funny pages-style speech balloon is put by his mouth. He’s not saying anything.

Both portraits get lush mountain scene backgrounds, although they come in golds and pinks. It’s overdone and all a bit clumsy — and clearly that &rsquo.

Padilla is more graceful, although no longer controlled, with “Scramble,” that has one of Ingres’ bather portraits — a favored subject matter for painters because before the Renaissance — extended, twisted and  colorized and broken down into three, horizontal sections set at a 45-degree angle.

While not one of the abstractions seem purposeful, there is a type of freedom to the painting process that fully asserts Padilla’so right to deal with this treasured source material any manner he pleases. He’s an appropriator, and in making these recognizable pictures to the lengths that he goes his own gives unexpected power to them.

Inside the 13 functions in the show, you can see the artist evolving and experimenting. Truth is, that he can come off as a prankster at times, relying to produce his scenes interesting.

However there are hints of proficient composition on display. Specifically, when he layers line drawings of characters that are over pictures that are classical, as he does at the Caravaggio-meets-Walt Disney bit Incredulous. ”

Or when he adds line drawings, and mushrooms along with grids of cubes to obscure that the portrait of a portly gent in “Arrangement. ”

Or when he brightens up a little in terms of painting as he does “Sad Boi,” that adds exaggerated features and demanding, random splotches of colour — pink, yellow, green and blue — into the surface “David. ” It’s expressive and strangely painterly.

In such minutes, the functions change from playful to sophisticated, and it’s good to find that Padilla is capable of going deeper if he chooses to do so.

Everything works on a certain level, though, and the show should have considerable appeal to folks around precisely the same era as Padilla (he’therefore 35) who climbed up on Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network and that will see nostalgic bits of the previous remixed into the job.

“Re:combination ” is casual so far as art displays go; small, unpretentious and inviting — attributes which make uptown’s Leon Gallery welcoming year-round. And the art is priced reasonably, so those 30-somethings who adore Sponge Bob as far as they may enjoy Michelangelo can afford it.

Cymon Padilla’s ”re:mixture ” proceeds through Jan. 19 at Leon Gallery, 1112 E. 17th Ave. It’so totally free. Info at 303-832-1599 or

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