In the time of COVID-19, when conversations often meander back to the nuances of this open-ended global pandemic (and every article seems to start with the preface In the time of COVID-19), many creatives have found that the work they’ve been producing, regardless of intent, has taken on a new or altogether different meaning.

Artist and educator Thony Aiuppy’s sweeping new show, which includes paintings, collages, and mixed media work was certainly never intended to reflect on the time of COVID-19. But the body of work–figurative paintings of people working with their hands, still life, portraiture, and more–and its on-display status certainly means a lot more given the chaos wrought upon the world in recent months.

There’s always been solace in the act of taking in an art exhibit. But just weeks into a phase 1 reopening, the deft representational style Aiuppy’s lent to a body of work featuring many paintings of people doing pensive and meditative tasks, makes the viewing evermore contemplative; if not comforting.

The show was spearheaded by fellow artist Crystal Floyd. “I had a lot of work, but I wasn’t sure how consistent it was given the different techniques and materials I’ve been working with over the last five years,” Aiuppy says of his trepidation in putting such a scattershot body of work on display. “[Floyd] was very helpful and thought using all kinds of different work would make the show more interesting.”

“I can tell that it’s still my hand in the making,” Aiuppy says of the medium-spanning exhibit. “That was a surprising moment once everything was hung. Hopefully people will be able to see that continuity as well.”

Most of the work on display was completed well before the pandemic. But Aiuppy says his quarantine has been fairly productive; he’s been writing and making a ton of art. “I finished 100 black and white portrait drawings between March and May,” he says. “Now, I’m about 30 into 100 color portrait drawings. I guess you could say that I’ve been productive.”

The work will be on display from now until August at Bold Bean Coffee Roasters’s San Marco shop (1905 Hendricks Ave.). Shop capacity is limited to 50%. 

To see more of Aiuppy’s work, visit his website. 

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