Denver artist interprets Audubon’s birds in visually poetic style

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<p>(Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Sloan)</p>
<p>Several paintings Kevin Sloan prepared for the exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center await transport in the artist&#039;s Denver studio.</p>

Denver artist Kevin Sloan puts a twist on the historic work of famed naturalist John James Audubon. A new exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center features Sloan’s work and rarely seen images from the center's collection of Audubon engravings.

Photo: Kevin Sloan
Denver artist Kevin Sloan

At the entrance to the exhibit, Audubon’s Sandhill Crane hangs near Sloan’s interpretation of the same bird. In Sloan’s huge seven-by-five foot acrylic painting, a sandhill crane holds a swirl of carnival admission tickets in it’s beak. The tickets threaten to ensnare the creature.

Other works by Sloan overlay a porcelain-like pattern on a bird to convey the idea of fragility. In another, a bird stands atop a house of cards to represent a perilous balance in nature.

Sloan combines realism and fantasy to create allegory and story and to draw the viewer into a visual dialogue about nature and the manmade world.

A Naturalist & an Artist: John James Audubon & Kevin Sloan” is on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center through May 31.