SHREWSBURY, NJ - On Sunday, August 29th, 2010, the Guild will host an opening reception for Paul Hansen’s solo exhibition “The Divine Paradox” from 3-5PM.  "The Divine Paradox" is a collection of approximately forty paintings spanning the last ten years. This is a unique show that fuses the history of art with current trends presented in an abstract manner.  The exhibit, which begins on August 28, 2010 and ends on October 1, 2010, is not to be missed and is free to the public. Please join us for the reception.  In addition to this exhibit, James Kent and his students will have their art displayed in the studio from their “Lyrical Abstract Expressionism” workshop.

Paul Hansen, a self-taught artist, from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, began experimenting with art as a young child.  He and his brother, Steven, were fascinated by artists Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Don Martin, and the comic book illustrators from Marvel and D.C. Comics.

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The brothers worked hard to emulate the artists.  While growing up in the seventies, Paul found inspiration from various album cover artists such as H.R. Giger, Stanley Mouse, and Rick Griffen.  The influences are present in his abstract paintings from his “Divine Paradox”.

When Hansen was in his early twenties, he discovered the house painting trade.  Through this experience, Hansen learned the techniques of Trompe L’oeil, a popular style of Renaissance painting, and various methods in decorative painting.  He was amazed by, and enjoyed working hands-on with, wood graining and marbleizing finishes, which are applied in faux painting.  Hansen discovered that he wanted to bring this understanding to his own art.  In the year 2000, Hansen made a conscious decision to use the knowledge he learned and bring his passion for art to canvas and board. In the 10 years since he has been working with painting, more abstract than figural, he has been combining various styles from different periods in art history.  From Primitive and Ancient art from various cultures: the Renaissance, Post-Impressionism, and more recent periods including Abstract Expressionism, Pop-Art, and contemporary art, Hansen developed his own style.  One might say that his style is similar to Keith Haring’s.

An exhibiting artist of the Guild, Hansen feels that art is already present before it is composed.  “It’s a matter of channeling it, becoming a conduit of a collective spirit.”  Through his abstract painting, Hansen reaches for something basic, something from within. This is exemplified by the influence of many cultures such as Native American, Celtic, Aztec, African art, as well as prehistoric cave painting.  The art and architecture of these cultures convey abstraction by their forms, seen in Hansen’s work.

All of Paul Hansen’s paintings reveal feelings of great depth.  He believes that if one is moved by a painting, then there is a spiritual connection and union. “The Divine Paradox” depicts these ideas and expresses the artist’s inspiration in his work.

Paul Hansen has exhibited his work widely in New Jersey, notably at The White Lotus Tattoo and Art Gallery in Toms River, Optical Elements in Long Branch, Court Wood Working in Pittstown, Solstice in Long Beach Island, and at Borders in Watchung.  Please join Paul Hansen at the Guild for the opening reception.  For more information on the artist, visit www.paulhansenart.com or the artist’s page on the Guild’s website, www.guildofcreativeart.org.

The Guild of Creative Art is at 620 Broad St., Shrewsbury. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday 1-4 p.m. For more information, call 732-741-1441 or visit www.guildofcreativeart.org.

The Guild was founded in 1960 by watercolorist Yvonne Aubert and a group of artists who joined together to form an arts cooperative offering exhibition space, a studio for classes and a communal meeting area. The Guild of Creative Art is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary and is the oldest non-profit arts cooperative in New Jersey and the largest, with almost 500 members. The guild offers classes for adults, teens and children, and it hosts monthly exhibits in its gallery.