Big. Bold. Bodacious. Coming upon a painting by Riva Sweetrocket for the first time, those are the words that spring immediately to mind. The colors are often so vivid it’s hard to believe they are pastels. No subtle gradations or moody hues here. And Sweetrocket’s images are as fresh and original as her colors. Quirky juxtapositions bring together hands, feet, fried eggs, and flapjacks to create striking compositions.
In a solo show of 12 new paintings opening this month at the Buell Theater in downtown Denver, Sweetrocket employs her signature eye-popping imagery to speak to the majesty of nature and human existence. One common element running through these and other recent paintings is the portrayal of hands, legs, and feet. For Sweetrocket, the isolated body parts possess a visual simplicity that works well in designing compositions. “They also suggest a human element without specifying identity,” she explains. “This anonymity allows viewers to make each piece their own.”
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