Coda Gallery gets real with Patrick Kramer
February 19, 2014
One look at visual artist Patrick Kramer’s works and people immediately think he’s a photographer.
But the closer they examine the pieces, the more they realize the Springville, Utah,-based artist is an oil painter who creates hyper-realistic works.
Park City will get the opportunity to meet Patrick Kramer when the Coda Gallery hosts an artist reception for the exhibit "An Existential Confrontation," featuring Kramer’s works, on Friday, Feb. 21, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Kramer, whose paintings cover a broad range of subjects, said he began drawing extraordinarily detailed works when he was a child.
"I drew a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many pictures of animals that I would see in National Geographic," Kramer said during an interview with The Park Record. "I think it was my personality that made me want to make things as tight as possible. I have a little OCD and am a perfectionist, and that appealed to me for some reason."
When Kramer got into high school, the art-bug overtook his life.
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"I wasn’t good at writing and wasn’t good at math, so I took art classes," he said. "I decided to study drawing and painting when I got to Brigham Young University so I could focus on the arts and this is where I ended up."
Being detail-oriented does come with a lot of challenges.
"First off, there’s the practical matter," Kramer said. "It can take a long time for me to finish a piece."
The painter has taken up to six to seven weeks on one painting.
"I am getting faster, though," he said with a laugh. "I’ve been able to get smaller works done in one week, which is manageable.
"It’s just when you get to the two-month mark on one piece, you start to wonder how you can make a living doing it," Kramer said. "That’s when things get a little scary."
Still, the artist loves the creative process of being a hyper-real painter.
"Even though a work will look just like a photograph, how I work behind the image gives an intensity to the painting that I enjoy," he said. "It is enjoyable because I get to focus on the craft and it’s a rush when I get the work the way I like it. It’s gratifying to capture something that has a certain presence in a way that is a little different than a photograph."
Finishing a piece proves to be another challenge for Kramer.
"You have to draw the line somewhere," he said with a sigh. "There are times when I will go back and look at a painting that I’ve taken up to Coda and see a part that I want to go touch up.
"The truth is, sooner or later, you’re going to have to deal with the fact that there aren’t a lot of people who will notice that part," he said. "However, it never really feels like I finish a work."
Kramer’s subject matter ranges from water and fish to figures and machines.
"I’m all over the place," he said, laughing. "Most hyper-realists have one thing they focus on, whether they are reflections, buildings or the stuff that they have been able to build on in their niche.
"For me, it’s all about exploring different ideas," Kramer said. "That’s one of the good things about being a starving, unknown artist. I have that freedom."
Lately, the painter has been interested in floral design and decaying mechanics.
"I like the juxtaposition of things that are organic and beautiful against things that are industrial and falling apart," Kramer said. "I like that contrast."
He also is attracted to reflective surfaces.
"I like how the light passes through glass objects," he said. "I find those things to be beautiful for one reason or another."
Kramer is bringing 12 new works to the Coda for "An Existential Confrontation," and the gallery will display some works he painted last year.
"I’ve been represented by Coda for about five years," Kramer said. "They represented another artist I knew, Chris Young, who also does hyper-realist works. I thought they might be interested in my stuff, so I approached them.
"After I had gradated from BYU in 2008, I had built up a large body of works that were mostly drawings," he said. "They liked what they saw and started selling it."
Looking down the road a few years, Kramer has already formed some ideas for his art.
"I look at loose painters and get a little envious," he said. "I like the idea of perhaps making something loose and expressive contrasted with something hyper-real. I would like to combine the two styles someday."
The Coda Gallery, 804 Main St., will host an artist reception for painter Patrick Kramer on Friday, Feb. 21, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The exhibit, "An Existential Confrontation," will feature Kramer’s hyper-realist works. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.codaparkcity.com , or http://www.patrickkramerart.com.