Karl Orion

Primary Falls
July 2024

I've always enjoyed observing the movement and dynamics of fluid and incorporating water in my art has been a constant for many years. With this piece, I've embraced the opportunity to explore fluid on a grand and surreal scale. Creating simulated waterfalls of color falling from the windows of Denver's iconic clock tower was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. These three videos aim to illustrate how the primary colors of pigment have been historically misaligned due to the limits in the excavation of steadfast pigmented minerals. In western painting, paint was created from rare mined minerals whose color could not fade over time, limiting the range of the color wheel. With modern advancements in paint production and greater range of uses of color in various industries, the true primary colors of any kind of pigment including paint and ink are cyan, magenta, and yellow. In three sections, each video shows two primary colors falling together to combine and fill at the base of the tower. Despite a growing understanding of the science behind pigmented color, many are still in disagreement about what the three primary colors are. From a social perspective this piece examines how even something as simple as color can seem to draw out an occasionally heated and contentious dynamic between people. In my years of teaching, this subject has elicited an array of reactions which I wish to boldly confront while playfully subverting the conversation through calming surreal waterfalls.

Primary Falls is part of Summer Haze, the July 2024 program curated by Libby Garon.

Summer Haze intertwines organic matter with the built environment of Downtown Denver. These four contemporary digital artists: Karl Orion, Bryan Leister, Eileen Roscina and John Lake interweave cutting edge digital video work with nature's essence, enhancing Denver's industrious cityscape with spellbinding light. Through glittering fractals and temperature swings, Summer Haze leaves Downtown starry-eyed. Experience Denver at the heat of Summer with mesmerizing projections of augmented nature. 

About the Artist:

Karl Orion is a multidisciplinary Denver artist, mostly known for his oil paintings of a unified fictional world. He began studying visual art at Denver School of the Arts from 6th-12th grade and continued his artistic endeavors at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago studying painting and music production for undergrad. Since graduating in 2011, Karl has worked as an artist and art educator both independently and at the Art Students League of Denver. He has participated in art markets all around the state of Colorado, all while honing a passion for creating music videos that explore the same fictional world as his paintings from a different vantage point.