Longtime local Christian Aasgard dead at 77
Longtime Aspen resident and artist Christian Aasgard died late Sunday night, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, say police. Aasgard turned 77 the same day.
Known locally for his signature floppy white hat, Aasgard dedicated his life to painting, though rarely did he ever show his uniquely styled finished works.
Aasgard first came to Aspen in 1958. A friend who had fallen in love with the town convinced him to come for a visit – and he never left. The reverence that Aasgard developed for Aspen is reflected in his collective works.
“I’ve decided to relegate my subject matter to one thing because I feel so many of the artists today are all over the place,” Aasgard said during a May interview with The Aspen Times. “Almost all established artists have one technique that is recognizable. Look at Van Gogh, Renoir or Degas.”
Following that premise, Aasgard’s latest works were entirely based on the miners and dance hall women of turn-of-the-century Colorado.
“All of my paintings are straight from the imagination,” he said. “I work with an inner vision rather than an outer vision.
“I paint quickly. I don’t overwork it. In the past, there was too much art education.”
Authorities responded to Aasgard’s Main Street apartment at 11:43 p.m. Sunday after receiving a 911 call at 11:40 p.m. about an attempted suicide at the residence, according to a written statement from Deputy Coroner Scott Thompson.
Aasgard was found dead in his apartment. Investigators determined that Aasgard was the person who had placed the initial 911 call, according to Thompson.
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