Photo Feature: “Raphael Sassi: A Retrospective” opens at GOCA Downtown

A woman takes in the art at the new exhibition “Raphael Sassi: A Retrospective” at GOCA Downtown.

A new exhibition “Raphael Sassi: A Retrospective” is now open at the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art Downtown. The exhibition will be on display through March 5, 2022.

“Raphael Sassi’s sheer talent and meticulous technique blew me away,” said David Siegel, Executive Director of the Ent Center for the Arts. “His work is incredibly intricate; the bags under the eyes of one portrait subject were so lifelike that I could feel the exhaustion in my own body.”

According to the GOCA website, Sassi’s art communicates his deep and abiding respect and commitment to traditional technique as well as constant innovation in drawings, paintings, and sculpture. Works in this exhibition span nearly his entire life, from early works on paper to his most recently completed works in painting and drawing. Raphael committed to practicing art seriously from a young age, declaring his intentions to his father who was an art teacher and working at it almost daily until his death in 2019. 

“Talent and technique aside, the retrospective highlights what a profound impact Raphael had on our community and vice-versa,” Siegel said. “The exhibition features portraits of many beloved local arts champions and it is especially meaningful to see these familiar faces captured with such precision. The combination of local relevance and unmistakable artistic talent creates a deeply meaningful experience.”

This exhibition asserts Sassi’s place as a critically important Colorado artist, and honors his legacy as both an artist and as a friend to so many in this region. Curated by Daisy McGowan, with thanks to Gretchen and Doug Sassi for their work to realize the exhibition.

GOCA encourages donations to the Raphael Sassi Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which provides support for young and emerging artists specializing in draughtsmanship to develop their fine arts skills at the secondary level, and to pursue study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about the about the exhibition here. All photos courtesy of Stellar Propeller.