Scenes From Riley Holloway's SHOOK!!! Opening at the Fairmont Hotel on Friday.

After three months as the artist-in-residence at the Fairmont Hotel, North Texas-based artist Riley Holloway finally unveiled his latest works to the public this past Friday night.

Hosted in the Downtown Dallas hotel's street-level gallery, visible to passersby out on the sidewalk, the opening's atmosphere was warm and positive. Early in the evening, the space began to fill up with the artist's friends and supporters, all dressed to the nines and perfectly accessorized. Throughout the event, even after surveying Holloway's work, small groups of attendees lingered on in the gallery and the hotel lobby, handshakes and laughter abounding.

It was a nice, appropriately subdued scene, and justifiably so: The exhibition's been a long time coming for Holloway — longer than his three-month stay at the Fairmont might imply.

In 2011, Holloway dropped out of school to study classical painting in Florence. Shortly upon his return home to Arlington, he applied and eventually was selected to participate in the artist residency program at the Fairmont, now in its fourth year of operation. In April, he moved into the hotel, and over the course of three months, the 24-year-old artist created his first body of work — a selection of which is on display at this show — all the while attracting local media buzz.

The attention has been much deserved. Despite being so young and largely self-taught — his studio, provided by the hotel, contains a shelf that's just packed with books on drawing and art history — Holloway is an undeniably skilled portrait artist.

The majority of the loud and complex paintings in this exhibition center around realistically rendered figures and are overlaid with sketches, abstract marks and text. But rather than distract, these elements beckon viewers to take their time with the works and look closer.

The title of the exhibition — “SHOOK!!!” — was scrawled on almost every piece on display. This unifying theme references the concept of inspiration and the importance the artist places on the idea of being motivated. That message also extends to Holloway's handwritten poetry, which appears repeatedly throughout his paintings, and brings both a childlike simplicity and a mythical storytelling quality to his work.

Throughout the course of Friday's opening, Holloway himself was soft-spoken and modest. Though constantly surrounded by friends, family and admirers, he maintained a genuine and gracious smile while greeting visitors. Milling about the space, he happily responded to the near-constant stream of questions and congratulations.

The next step in the artist's plan, now that his residency at the Fairmont has come to an end, is to move to a new studio in Dallas.

When asked whether he felt exhausted from creating his first body of work during these past three months, though, Holloway finally broke out into a laugh.

“A little bit,” he said. “But mostly I'm excited to keep going.”



















3948_2

3948_3

3948_4

3948_5

3948_6

3948_7

3948_8

3948_9

3948_10

3948_11

3948_12

3948_13

3948_14

3948_15

3948_16

3948_17

3948_18

3948_19

3948_20

3948_21

3948_22

3948_23

3948_24

3948_25

3948_26

3948_27

3948_28

3948_29

3948_30

3948_31

3948_32

3948_33

3948_34

3948_35

3948_36

3948_37

3948_38

3948_39

3948_40

3948_41

3948_42

3948_43

3948_44

3948_45

3948_46

3948_47

3948_48

3948_49

3948_50

No more articles
X