View This Colorado Artist’s Prismatic Pieces With A Keen Eye


Kristopher Wright wearing cowboy hat sitting in corner between unfinished paintings on walls

Artist Kristopher Wright in his studio, a converted stable on a San Luis Valley ranch.

The flicker of birthday candles. The heat of summer barbecues. The faces of grandparents long gone. Certain moments become signposts within our lives and, while revisiting these memories is pure nostalgia for some, they mean more to Kristopher Wright. For him, they’re excavation sites. The artist merges painting and printmaking to create prismatic pieces that dissect old family photographs, found images, and moments in art history, unearthing deeper meanings of kinship and community. 

Kristopher Wright standing with goat outside of small white and wood shed on ranch surroundings

Artist Kristopher Wright stands outside the studio on his ranch accompanied by his 3-year-old La Mancha goat, Biggie.

hand holding paintbrush and spreading orange paint on canvas

The artist renders forms in acrylic ink and paint.

outdoor wooden workbench with sketchbook, art book, pens and paintbrushes

A variety of tools and research materials help to create and inform Wright’s work.

artist studio with white metal rolling rack of screens and transparencies for screen printing

Racks of prepared screens and transparencies await transfer atop in-process paintings.

unfinished artwork using acrylic paint and screen printing techniques, with sketched figures

Wright’s style is influenced by things as disparate as classic Looney Tunes cartoons, anatomical studies and mechanical blueprints.

detail of painting with screen printed overlay of a man woman and child seated

Wright’s technique of layering paint with screen printing is visible in this detail of his 2023 piece XO.

“Memory changes with time,” Wright says of his fickle muse. “Present experiences reinform the things you learned in the past. I think of my work as looking back through a revised lens, exploring why these moments get stuck in your head.” He often pulls from his own family archive, his reference images capturing the beauty of spaces where loved ones gather. The artist then assembles photos together, rearranging the figures and changing their gender and age. Though altered, their poignancy intensifies, revealing new throughlines of feeling. “They’re telling my story, but also opening up new narratives or a new interpretation for others,” he explains.

Wright projects and sketches the final composition onto a canvas, fleshing out the forms in crisp, flat planes of acrylic. His style is influenced by things as disparate as classic Looney Tunes cartoons, anatomical studies and mechanical blueprints—he sometimes hand-paints engine diagrams atop quiet domestic scenes. For Wright, incorporating mechanical motifs such as these references the body and mortality, spiritual transformation and our movement through time and space. 

Completed paintings move to the floor for screen printing. The artist then uses a halftone method which translates the different grayscale values into dots of various sizes, so the vibrant underpainting bleeds through and floods the screen-printed photo with emotive hues. The dots also partly obscure the figures’ faces, inviting the viewer to fill in the blanks. “The figures in my work are always symbols for something or someone else,” Wright notes. 

Hopefully, through these works—some of which were exhibited at Wright’s first solo show at Denver’s K Contemporary—viewers can reconnect with the people and places they have loved with new eyes, too.