I f you spend any amount of time at all on the internet, especially on a site like Facebook or Twitter, you are bound to be inundated by all kinds of information, from posts about string theory and technological innovations to memes of cute kittens batting at the screen. Such a technological influx can be really fun and entertaining, and it can also be a little bit scary and overwhelming. This blend of the “cute with the creepy,” as she puts it, is exactly the paradox that Corrina Espinosa, local technology-inspired artist, deals with in her work.
“An old professor told me once that my artwork smells like electricity,” Espinosa told us. “I do love technology and most of my work reflects that with flashing, color-changing lights, spinning motors, all things new, clean and exciting. Stylistically my work is surreal; I create fantastical narratives, which often embrace dark humor to criticize politicians, wallow in my sorrows, or to express love, etc. through ironically juxtaposed imagery—for instance, the ‘heartfelt’ with the ‘horrific,’ or the ‘cute’ with the ‘creepy.’ I love to add a sort of a dark, warped twist on real life perspectives.”
Espinosa also explains that her art comes from a place of healing. “I grew up in Denver during a time of marked violence, Denver’s notorious summer of violence, and that was something that impacted me deeply,” she explains. “I think art is incredibly healing, which is how I got started, and incredibly addicting, which is why I have never stopped. I always wanted to be a writer, but when I took ceramics as a freshman in high school, I fell in love with carving and dedicated my life to storytelling through objects.”
She is currently doing it all when it comes to the art world—going to school, teaching, running an art studio, and constantly experimenting with new forms. “I am about halfway done with my Master of Fine Art Degree and I also teach Intro to Studio Art, so that definitely keeps me busy,” Espinosa says. “I am currently experimenting a lot with kinetics, circuitry, conductive ink, and alternate photography processes. I like to have a variety of projects going at once, so I don’t ever get stuck. Right now, I’m building collages on my desk, I have a projection mapping installation design developing on my computer, and a wide array of other projects, in various mediums, even a poetry book, which are taking form all over my studio and even my home!”
Espinosa explains that while she never directly works cannabis into her art as a theme, she likes to touch on the psychedelic from time to time in her work, and fully supports the creative cannabis culture in Colorado. “I especially love the bright, saturated colors tied to the genre,” she states of psychedelic art. “One piece in particular I made, is a collage called Mushroom Jaz. It depicts topsy-turvy, cloudy, blue skies set on top of a lively scene of green grass, where long-legged women with mushroom heads are casually sprawling. The framed collage itself is a functioning speaker system, which is intended to play Mushroom Jazz, a very specific genre of music that is closely related to cannabis culture. I’m certainly open to exploring almost any topic in my art practice, I love to tackle controversy and the taboo.”
Catch Espinosa’s work at her regular gallery showings, and count on her for some telling commentary of the modern world.
10/20 @ Good Thieves Press Art Studio, Denver