#62: Caleb Hahne
Only 21 years old, artist Caleb Hahne is a classic draftsman who's not afraid to explore new digital media, while still embracing the same tools artists have been using for hundreds of years. A member of Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design's 2014 class and one of the last residents at the belated ShowPen house in the Art District on Santa Fe, he's also the kind of kid who jumps headlong into things, including mural painting and showing work in lots of exhibits; Hahne's already gaining national attention, all while carving out a solid place in the Denver scene. How does the art world look from his youthful vantage point at the top of the world? Keep reading to find out.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Caleb Hahne: I would love to collaborate with Goya. I'm inspired by the diversity in his work and how the execution of the paintings changed. It would be amazing to see what parts of my brain would open up.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
There's this musician named Willis Earl Beal from Chicago who carries himself with a narcissistic charm. His voice is unique and haunting; he does whatever he wants, and I love it. It's incredible when someone is having fun with what they're doing; you can tell he's doing exactly that.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I would like to see more art. There's a lot of talent out there, but not enough dedication.
What's your day job?
I work about two days a week at the Denver Art Museum as a security officer and I love it. It's so meditative and gives me a lot of time to think about some things I want to explore in my practice. This year has been so good to me, so fortunately, I've been able to pursue a full-time studio practice outside of the museum.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
I'd pay for my grandfather's cancer treatment, put my six siblings through school, and work with Don Fodness to revive the wonderful ShowPen. I've always wanted a bed that's a circle, so I would get one of those made for sure.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Lately, i've had the opportunity to work on murals with international artists, which has exposed me to so much. I think if we brought in even more national and international artists, we could reveal Denver as the incredible city that it is. Right now, Art Plant is starting to do stuff like this, which has introduced me to so many wonderful people; I also had the chance to participate in a large collaboration with Germany, where 45 artists from Denver worked with 45 artists in Berlin and we had the opportunity to show at Neurotitan Gallery in Germany, along with three galleries in Colorado .
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I've been spending a lot of time with Joseph Martinez, Mario Zoots, Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina lately. As a collective, they are people I really admire, who are constantly pushing their boundaries, which inspires me to do the same. They're like my big brothers.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I've been talking to Evan Isoline about doing a show together in Portland, so hopefully that will be the start. I also just got invited to be a part of a group show at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco, and possibly a solo or duo show at LeQuiVive Gallery in Oakland. Then I have second solo shows with Super Ordinary in Denver and Soze Gallery in Los Angeles. I really want to use this time to explore my work conceptually and technically and to try to travel as much as possible! The mural game is big right now and is a ton of fun, so I would like to do some more of that as well.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in 2014?
Oh, man, well, some of my biggest art crushes right now are Lucas T. McMahon, Molly Bounds, Victoriano "Leo" Rivera, Savanna Phibbs, Alex Cutler and Claudia Mastrobu. I'm excited to see what they make over the next few years.
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