Rettig follows a dream
February 12, 2004
As a sixth-grader in his native El Paso, Hunt Rettig visited a Venezuelan museum devoted to the kinetic art of Jesus Soot. From that day, Rettig has had dreams of being an artist.Two years ago, the Aspenite had an actual dream that led him on the path to realizing his artistic daydreams. In the dream, Rettig saw a piece of art not a simple painting, but a high-concept, high-tech, elusive image.The dream was going up to a wall, seeing a petite frame, and going right up to the image and seeing an infinity of lines going vertical, the 35-year-old said in an interview this past November with The Aspen Times. As far as youd look, youd see lines going way up and way down. I woke up going: I know how to pull that off I can make that.It took time and much experimentation, but Rettig finally realized the promise of that dream. Working with sheets of mylar bent into oval shapes; acrylic paint, usually black; plexiglass; and a sheet of mylar film, Rettig has been making assemblages pieces that have the illusion of movement that first inspired him some 25 years ago. The pieces are visually captivating, and as Rettig has polished the technique, he is also finding greater meaning in them. The shapes in his work suggestive of eggs, microbes and rocks reflect biological and ecological formations. In his artists statement, Rettig relates his art to ecopsychology, which he describes as a study that addresses psychic numbing from, or denial of, … issues such as ozone depletion, increasing pollution, toxicity, poverty and the death of species.In recent months, Rettigs stature in the art world has surpassed his dreams. His work was included in the opening show last month at + Zeile/Judish, a prominent, new Denver gallery. He recently sold a piece to part-time Aspenite Melva Bucksbaum, a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and co-chair of the Whitneys acquisitions committee. Rettig is a current nominee for the Belmar Award for Achievement in Art and Design, a new award being given biannually to Colorado artists.A show of Rettigs latest pieces opens, alongside the paintings of Jeff Muhs, today at the David Floria Gallery.