4/20 Goes High Style with Paul Jacobsen’s Pot Paintings at David B. Smith Gallery

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Although he currently lives in New York, painter Paul Jacobsen is a Colorado native and still maintains a studio in Rico, near Telluride. The title of his solo, Outpost, on display at the David B. Smith Gallery, refers to frontiers – both the wilderness of the San Juan Mountains around his studio and Colorado’s newly legalized marijuana industry.

So the paintings in Outpost depict exquisitely rendered flower arrangements comprised of sprays of marijuana leaves. Attention, pot tycoons: These would be gorgeous in your office.

At first glance — and even under close examination — the paintings look like photos, complete with glare from the camera’s lens, but in reality, they are oils on linen. The reference to the Western frontier is seen in the backgrounds, in the weathered wall boards that line his studio, where the photos, which served as preliminary studies, were taken.

There are also installation elements in the show, including a pointed arch made of grayed-out barn wood and a heavily figured tree trunk that has been painted in a spectrum of colors.

Through May 29 at David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 A Wazee Street, 303-893-4234, davidbsmithgallery.com.  

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