Dallas artist Tom Pribyl wanted to try something different. For 10 years, he’d painted interior scenes. Now he wanted to branch out, to challenge himself.
The solution: paint-by-number.
Not just any paint-by-number kit, either. No modern kits featuring ponies or kittens.
Vintage kits from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Things like Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” Other pictures of Jesus. In fact, his contribution to the multi-artist show this month at Craighead-Green Gallery is full of surprisingly rich images of religious artwork taken from the simplest of sources. Of course, he takes some artistic license in altering the images to make his larger point.
“It’s about growing up Catholic in the ’70s,” Pribyl says. “It’s just an irreverent look at everything—religion, art, life. We’re not trying to offend anybody. There’s just a certain amount of pretense we’re trying to do away with.”
Pribyl’s method is simple. He begins by scanning the image on the front of the box. Before painting, he and his brother digitally alter the images, twisting, changing, and distorting them. Jesus takes up smoking. He and his disciples morph into clowns.
The show at Craighead isn’t a religious-themed one, however. In fact, the three artists’ works that populate the show run the gamut from steel to collage to paintings. “They all look beautiful together,” says Scot Presley of the Craighead-Green Gallery. “It feels coherent. That’s a tribute to Kenneth Craighead and his knowledge of the artists, their personalities, and their work.”
From March 30 to May 5 at the Craighead-Green Gallery. 1011 Dragon St. 214-855-0779. www.craigheadgreen.com.