How A Denver Cafe Showing Helped An Artist To Go Pro


Meet The Maker

Alyson Khan

In 2000, on a whim, then-novice painter Alyson Khan showed a selection of her work at a Denver cafe–and sold every last piece. “That experience was electrifying and formative and definitely set me on a track to take my work more seriously and continue to put it out there,” Khan says. These days, her graphic, abstract paintings have found homes in hotels and private collections around the world, in collaborations with brands such as West Elm and Anthropologie, and in February, as part of a group exhibition at Denver’s Space Gallery. Here, Khan shares her inspiration and more.

Why is paint your medium of choice?

Paint lends itself most extensively to experiencing color, which is probably the most important aspect of my work. There is an endless variety of colors you can achieve. I also deeply appreciate the emotional resonance and energy of color that can be felt through painting.

Tell us about your inspiration.

It could be through colors, textures, textiles, interior design or weird shapes on a dried leaf, or even some words strung together, which I will actually scribble onto the canvas and build from there.

Do you have a creative to-do list?

Rugs have always inspired me, and I would love to work with a rug designer and see my work applied in that way. I also think it would be amazing to see my work in fashion; to experience the images in motion.