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Local artist paints a portrait reflecting current times (hint: it's a toilet paper roll)

Robin Cole creates 'art in the time of corona' to bring some levity to life

ARVADA, Colo. — The author Oscar Wilde once wrote, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." This is a concept familiar to artist Robin Cole who tries to capture the world's essence in paint.

"You have an interesting moment with a wild animal, you know, something like that," Cole said. "Those moments really stand out to me in that sort of magical realism that happens is something I'm really interested in representing in my creative work."

Cole likes landscapes and painting natural beauty.

"I've noticed all my paintings have become a little less hard-edged, a little less over-informative and a little more natural and expressive and brushy," Cole said.

Throughout her career, she has never created anything like her recent work, "Art in the time of corona." As a statement on the world dealing with COVID-19, Cole depicts a single roll of toilet paper.

"This ridiculous substance has achieved a pretty divine place in our society for this moment in time such that it's totally unattainable," Cole said. "It was just painting a roll I had in my bathroom."

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The toilet paper roll sits against what Cole calls a 'holy-light type of environment" because of how it has become synonymous with empty shelves at the store.

"The beautiful renaissance rust-gold brown that you see in the background is really actually a visual representation of particleboard," Cole said while laughing.

Out of all her work, she said with her Instagram followers at @RobinCole.art, "Art in the time of corona" is well-received.

"This situation in which we find ourselves in, I think everybody's going through their own process of trying to grapple with the bizarre new reality in so many ways," Cole said. "I've had a number of inquiries, actually so many, I'm thinking of doing a limited-edition run or prints which is not something I do very often with my pieces."

If you want to find out more, visit RobinCole.art.

Cole said she created the painting to give people a little bit of levity during this time of crisis.

"It seems like this would make a lot of people happy and smile and if they hang it above their toilet in their bathrooms," Cole said. "There's something pleasing about that and they just get a laugh at that which was my ultimate goal."

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