Psychedelic Color Cacophony

Abstract painter G Cody Day reminds us that everything is connected and nothing is quite as it seems.


G Cody Day

The paintings of G Cody Day are a religious experience, a psychological thriller, and a psychedelic trip. Energetic bursts of color create the illusion of movement and depth. Awed by their sheer scale and vibrancy, one can't help but get lost in the kaleidoscopic layers of pigment. G Cody Day's paintings reflect the world around us as complex, abstract, and multi-faceted. Nothing is static and everything is in flux. Each textured layer of our lives is interconnected.


Artist G Cody Day has been busy. Since wrapping up back to back shows at NEXT Gallery and Sync Gallery, respectively, he has landed a new art studio/gallery near Denver's Santa Fe Art District. With a new web store on the horizon and ideas for a children's book and yoga pants line, the artist is showing no sign of slowing down.


G Cody Day shared his thoughts in an interview.


What aspects of your everyday life inspire your work?


Pretty much everything.. Emotions, color, and contrast. Also movement, I like to imagine movement as color and big waves of all those sequential points in time all tied together. I get a lot of ideas for compositions and meaning behind layering from yoga. I like to think about the way a border defines two territories at the same time and how without contrast there can be nothing. So light, dust in the air, or incense smoke are also very inspiring. I am sort of obsessed with time, free will, and determinism, and so I like to daydream and imagine how events unfold and how things are really working and whether it is all some super complex chain-reaction. The nature of my layered paintings is reflective of that sort of mechanical view of history, and those tiny moments recombined together in or out of context. 

Do you listen to a particular type of music while working?

Not so much. I go through waves of styles of music. Also, audiobooks and Alan Watts lectures. I love those.


I will listen to a few different genres sort of exclusively for weeks at a time. I particularly enjoy Aphex Twin, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), House Music in alllll its lovely incarnations, and then a healthy dose of UK rap. Always something on the speakers or in the headphones when I am painting. Really anything layering rich textures or something to make me shake my money maker. I love the richness and texture of music and the movement and color it makes me see. It's the same as painting a painting, there are melodies and things that play together and things that clash. The cacophony is fantastic. The more complex or abstract the better. 


G Cody Day

Which elements of street art and which street artists are you influenced by?


The application and technical aspects, particularly layering. Also, the colors and freedom from traditional schools of thought about what constitutes art. I like the challenges of how and where street art is applied. I think the quickness and the raw element is appealing. One of my favorite parts of painting is the beginning when anything can happen and the world is still completely malleable. I think street art captures the excitement of the initial parts of the creative process. Street art also has an immediacy that is very appealing, the opposite of digital art. There is no undo or back button with painting. The translated confidence that comes with experience is visible in painting, whether in a studio or on the street and that is a very appealing aspect to me. 

In your recent NEXT Gallery show titled “Of Maya,” you address Maya as a spiritual concept. How would you describe your own sense of spirituality as it relates to your work?


As I mentioned earlier I listen to a lot of Alan Watts. I grew up under two directly conflicting religious superstitions so I quickly decided anyone selling me a religion was full of it. This doesn't mean that there isn't some spirituality of underlying energies at play.. but nothing where there is any sort of hierarchy or organization. That I just don't buy. I think the nature of the human experience is to explore and the inner dialog and discovery is really the point of it all. I think we are all the very tip of the wave of consciousness fractaling outward experiencing itself in every possible way. We are all highly fine-tuned data collectors letting the universe experience through an infinitely personal experience, through us. The process I have compulsively developed over the last fifteen years has been partially fueled by the idea of determinism and the universe as a wave of consciousness. It is aimed at offering a different perspective on the idea of linear time by assembling fragments out of order, a process inspired by the Beat poet William S. Burroughs. The work immediately begins to dictate its future and is such a clear representation of causality. The abstract nature of the work lends itself to the idea of Maya at the fundamental level of consciousness, at the point where the mind is defining what "is". Layers and textures and color with implied horizons are playgrounds for the viewer to define what they are seeing and have a playful moment, with a tiny anchor to reality. My work reflects my view and perspective through sweeping soft gradients of color with soft blending colors that mimic the borderlessness I believe exists between all things. 

What role do illusion and magic play in experiencing your paintings?


I like to experiment with different layering and different methods of application of paint. There is a magic in the newness. I like to find effects that are subtle but also very specifically controlled. There is pleasure in defining and then honing a new skill to execute part of the process. I aim to illustrate contrast rather than to trick or confuse the viewer. The illusion is that there is a separation between what the painting is and what the painting is to the viewer. The magic is when the separate processes have synergy and the border between them begins to blur. It sounds cliche but I figure so much out while I am on the canvas. So many things make sense there, playing with the mind's eye and the "real" world. The idea that the audience is seeing their own projection of the painting and not looking at the actual painting is a beautiful mess. 

Your paintings now come in the form of yoga pants. Where else would you like to see your art?


I am toying with a concept for a children's book. I would like to have my art in the lives of infants and children as they grow up. I remember seeing abstract works as a child and loving the freedom of making the painting what I wanted it to be and the undomesticated feeling it gave me to have it in my life growing up and seeing new things, like the painting was growing with me. If I can help facilitate that sort of inner dialog for the minds of the future that would be really rewarding. There are enough forces telling us how to think. 

I am launching a website where I will have prints and increased accessibility to my work from the last ten years for the first time, which is really exciting. Until now I have been only focused on making the work and pushing the process, not selling it or marketing it really at all. And I would like to do more series of the pants as well... But first the web store.


Follow G. Cody Day on Instagram and Twitter. Check out the website at gcodyday.com.


G Cody Day

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