Perhaps local artist Adam Conard's greatest work has been turning misfortune into triumph. A serious back injury at the age of 16 moved the talented teen from competitive athletics toward artistic endeavors. His life since has been devoted to and celebrated for incredible creativity.
Conard, who works primarily with acrylics, has developed a progressive series of abstractionist works overlaid with photorealism. The pioneering artist first completes a vibrant abstract backdrop which easily could stand alone as a finished product before painting lifelike images that could be mistaken for photographs over its top.
"It's where really free and loose art meets really rigid and intense art," says Conard. "Gravity plays a big part in the abstract as I let it pull on the paint ... the drips dictate how my paintings will come out. There's far less control in that stage."
Though Conard's unique style makes his art recognizable, it packs an ironic twist: at times, the visual contrast in a single work can make it look like the work of two distinct artists.
Many of Conard's pieces at The Blue Star are being shown for the first time, including some he designed specificially with the restaurant's atmosphere in mind. His overriding goal is simply to inspire people.
As he says in his artist's statement, "Art, for me, is a way to express life I long for others to see life in my work."
OpticalReverb Gallery at The Blue Star, 1645 S. Tejon St.
Through April 3
Call 632-1086 or visit adam conard.com for more information.