[Excerpt from Voyage Denver interview] “When I was a child my dad showed me one of those graphics made up of a bunch of dots that are supposed to determine whether you’re color blind or not. At first, I didn’t see anything and I thought he was kidding around, but after a focused effort, I discovered a hidden number that emerged out of the jumbled mess of dots. Once I saw it I couldn’t unsee it. It seemed like magic to me. I think that was probably when I fell in love with the notion of deconstructing the visual field. It showed me, way back then, that an image didn’t need to be photo-realistic– that you could represent an image partially and the viewer’s mind could finish the rest.”
Deconstruction and Representation
Since the early 2000’s, Lui Ferreyra has cultivated a distinctive technique which implements small geometric fragments that coalesce into complex color patterns. In their totality, these patterns reveal intelligible imagery— mostly that of landscapes and figures. But beyond subject-matter, his paintings call attention to the cognitive act of transposing visual perception onto a two-dimensional surface.
Indeed, this transposition is what most representational artwork attempts to achieve. However, in Ferreyra’s case, there’s a key element that has been purposely subtracted. Traditional painting practices achieve what is loosely called “realism” through various methods and techniques. At the forefront of these are blending and gradation. In Ferreyra’s case, blending and gradation are what are radically missing from his compositions. Instead, the mimicry of visual experience is chopped up into small, discernible bits. Thus, the illusion of subject matter springs to life not through blending or smooth gradations but rather through the deliberate juxtaposition of solid shapes. These shapes, meticulously positioned edge to edge, disclose a surprising illusion of depth and dimension.
Within this calculated dynamic, the viewer is invited to playfully toggle back and forth between abstraction and representation; between the curious aspect of each unique shape, and the effect caused by their synergistic totality.
In the presence of his artwork, the viewer is entrusted with an active role by completing the image within the confines of their own consciousness. By synthesizing these abstract shapes into a cohesive, intelligible whole, the observer participates in a creative act of interpretation. This interpretive engagement echoes the techniques employed by the Impressionists during the 19th century, however in Ferreyra’s case, the brushy pointillism of that era yields to the pervasive digital character of our 21st century– a labyrinthine mosaic of fragmented interconnectivity.
In recent decades Ferreyra’s work has been included in some of the region’s most prestigious invitationals and competitions such as, “Colorado Masters”, “The Best of Colorado” and “Art of the State”. While the vast majority of his work remains in private collections, recent commissions include four separate murals across Denver’s downtown area, four portraits for the Colorado Symphony, two landscapes for The Foothills Art Center, and a large-scale landscape painting recently acquired by Douglas County Libraries. His work has garnered both regional and international attention through print and online publications such as, New American Paintings, Art Ltd, Wired Magazine, Art Papers, The Denver Post, Forbes, FastCompany, Colossal, Huffington Post, My Modern Met, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, American Express Essentials, Modern in Denver, and most recently featured on the cover of Artists Magazine.
Lui Ferreyra’s work can be seen in person by appointment at his studio in Golden, Colorado.
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS, 1998 – 2023
Solo Show, New Worlds, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: William Havu, 2020
Solo Show, Survey, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: William Havu, 2017
Solo Show, Sum Ergo Sum, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: William Havu, 2016
Solo Show, Means of Approach, Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO, Curator: Collin Parson, 2015
Solo Show, Superimposition, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO, 2014
Solo Show, Interregnum, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO, 2012
Solo Show, Altered Reality, Gallery 1261, Denver, CO, Curator: Christine Serr, 2012
Solo Show, Grounded, Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: William Biety, 2008
Solo Show, Lui Ferreyra: Paintings, Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: William Biety, 2006
Solo Show, Cadence 2, Space Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: Michael Burnett, 2006
Solo Show, Cadence, Space Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: Michael Burnett, 2004
Group Show, 8th Salut Coaster Show, Nucleus Gallery, Portland, OR, Claire, 2023
Group Show, Art of the State, Arvada Center, CO, Curators: Louise Martorano, Ellamaria Ray, Collin Parson, 2022
Group Show, The Big Draw, William Havu Gallery, CO, Curator: William Havu, 2018
Group Show, New Regionalisms, McNichols Building, CO, Curator: Michael Paglia, 2018
Group Show, Art of the State, Arvada Center, CO, Curators: Gwen Chanzit, Michael Chavez, Collin Parson, 2016
Group Show, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, Palm Springs, CA, 2015
Group Show, Colorado Masters, Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: William Biety, 2007
Group Show, Best of Colorado, Denver International Airport (Jeppeson Terminal), Denver, CO, 2006
Group Show, Reflecciones Del Alma, Galeria de Arte Jose Clemente Orozco, Mexico City, 1999
Group Show, Paraiso, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile, 1998
Commission, Portrait, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Denver, CO, 2021
Commission, Two Murals, Alexan LoHi at Dickinson Plaza, Denver, 2018
Commission, Mural, Chef Troy Guard, Denver, 2016
Commission, Mural, Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico 2016
Commission, Mural, Stoic & Genuine, Denver, CO, 2014
Commission, Portrait, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Denver, CO, 2013
Commission, Portrait, Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders, Anschutz Medical Center, Aurora, CO, 2010
Commission, Two Landscapes, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO, 2008
Commission, Two Portraits, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Denver, CO, 2006
Award, Artistic Excellence Award, Art of the State, Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO, 2016
Award, Catalog of Winners’ Work, Western Competition, New American Paintings, Boston, MA, 2006
Award, Juror’s Choice, “ZipCo”, Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO, Curator: Ivar Zeile, 2004
Award, UROP Grant, University of Colorado, “Paraiso”, Exhibition and Reception, Santiago, Chile, 1998
Award, UROP Grant, University of Colorado, “Dia de los Muertos”, Mural Project, Boulder, CO, 1998
BFA, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1998
Art Students League of Denver, 2009