Is That Giant, Gold Frame At MCA Denver Fake? Yes. And That’s OK

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Photo: Derrick Velasquez at MCA Denver
Denver artist Derrick Velasquez stands beside his gold sculpture "XXXXXXXXXXXL (hole)," which frames a large opening between the lower and first floors of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, on Monday, July 10.

Obstructed View,” Derrick Velasquez’s new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, refers to the cheap seats at a sporting event or a performance. But the show is all about things we tend to see in plain sight — architecture and design — and goes beyond the surface to highlight the materials and motivations used to make buildings and objects.

It’s a timely exhibition, given the rapid construction stretching through the Denver metro. His body of work sprouted from the simple act of observing and thinking about many of the buildings going up around him, something Velasquez tells Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner he hopes more people will do.

Photo: Obstructed View By Artist Derrick Velasquez MCA Denver
Derrick Velasquez's show "Obstructed View" runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver through August 20.

One installation arranged in the shape of a Greek key nods to cheaper qualities of construction and what the artist calls “aspirational decor.” Another big sculpture, made from foam and gold paint, mimics elaborate trim molding and frames what appears to be a black hole. Velasquez says the piece was inspired by the Palace of Versailles and President Donald Trump’s gold penthouse, and explores society’s obsession with ornamentation.

Velasquez’s works are on display at MCA Denver through August 27. Another exhibition of works by Velasquez opens at Denver’s Robischon Gallery on July 20.