Las Vegas is full of surprises.
“A Route,” by Rafal Olbinski, a Polish painter representing a great tradition of surreal, fantastical paintings and designs, often for theatrical posters.
Years ago, my wife and many of my Facebook friends worked on Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s touring productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” in repertory. We found ourselves in Henderson, Nevada, just south of Las Vegas. A covered outdoor amphitheater overlooking the lights of Sin City.
Bob Hupp, the producing artistic director, told me he’d seen some things in a gallery at the Bellagio that reminded him of some of my work. So we went over there to investigate. What Bob had seen I recognized immediately. These were huge, multicolored serigraphic prints made from the paintings of Rafal Olbinski. I approached the gallerist and found out the prints were being produced at a studio just a few blocks north of the casino. He gave me his card and told us to present ourselves at the studio and they would give us a tour. So we did!
What an amazing experience that was. We got to see how meticulously those craftspeople analysed and recreated the distinct color layers to create and register dozens of silkscreen separations to deploy on massive presses. The reproductions are works of art in themselves.