Caitlin Goebel likes the effect of glitter, but not for the reasons you might expect. "When you put it on a surface, you're putting millions of surfaces on another surface, in layers, and it reflects because of all those millions of surfaces," says the 24-year-old Colorado Springs native.
That effect is the backbone of her solo show, Horror Vacui, set to open at the Modbo on Friday. In art, the term means to fill an entire surface with detail. In psychology, it means the fear of empty space. In her work, Goebel uses layers of color and clear polymer to showcase interactions and impacts of light on color and depth; the glitter helps to take it over the top.
The goal is to explore and question the combined concepts of intangibility, disconnection and superficiality. But the artist says her paintings also dish a sort of elbow jab to the ribs of art. "It's like Reddit [the self-described "Front Page" of the Internet] — everything is without context ... there is no secret meaning other than embracing that rock 'n' roll, campy, drag-queen, glammy, trashy aesthetic thing."
Goebel has not only shown frequently in the past, including the Modbo's 2011 Young Hotshots 2 show, but was a co-owner of the old Rubbish Gallery (now S.P.Q.R.). After a stint in Denver, she's back in town pursuing an art history degree at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Goebel says that she picked the works for the show in a kind of "ambiguous mania," with an eye toward creating a glorious mishmash. "The pieces are like those old View [Masters], remember those? But instead of putting in just one disc, you jam in two at once — or more!"