Caleb Hahne Unveils ‘Beyond the Veil’

“Hush” is one painting by Caleb Hahne displayed at RULE Gallery. photo: Nicole Elizabeth • CU Denver Sentry


Jazz’s great Charles Mingus once said, “Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.” Local artist Caleb Hahne’s art exemplifies this idea. After having spent years earning a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and being taught the “rules” on how to create it, Hahne is now exploring how to break these rules in interesting ways. “A lot of contemporary art kind of just shows how well you can paint, which doesn’t really say much to me personally,” Hahne said.

Hahne’s new solo exhibition entitled Beyond the Veil opened at RULE Gallery in the RiNo arts district on April 1. The exhibit features a number of Hahne’s paintings—a rarity these days since he mostly does illustrations. “I love these paintings because I didn’t have anybody telling me how to do it,” Hahne said. “It was really just like ‘I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want.’ They are very much so about contemporary figurative art. Thinking, ‘How can I push this as far as I possibly can?’”

“Hush” is one painting by Caleb Hahne displayed at RULE Gallery. photo: Nicole Elizabeth • CU Denver Sentry
“Hush” is one painting by Caleb Hahne displayed at RULE Gallery.
photo: Nicole Elizabeth • CU Denver Sentry

Hahne, only 23 years old, has become very successful for such a young artist. His pieces have been shown in galleries around the world including some located in Montreal, New York, London, Berlin, and Los Angeles. He also did work for The Huffington Post and Adidas.

Hahne’s paintings focus on the idea of allowing certain parts to form from the space around it, and making others very detailed, giving the pieces an intense versatility from top to bottom. “The reason I paint is because it is how I function as a human being,” Hahne said. “It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do.” Hahne attributes most of his success to hard work. Talent is certainly a factor here, but having the drive and initiative to pursue his craft propelled him beyond what most artists do at 23. “It’s crazy how hard you have to work, but if you want something you can have it,” Hahne said. When in school, Hahne painted and drew constantly to hone his skills, sometimes working in the studio more than 60 hours a week.

When talking about creating Hahne argues that most things in the world are created for some sort of purpose or to solve a problem. “Somebody invented the chair because they were tired of standing,” he said. “It’s the same with painting: You make cool paintings because you are tired of looking at boring paintings.”

This point of view is what makes Hahne’s creations his own, and pushes him to continue to make strides in his craft. He comes off as that rare type that isn’t doing it for the attention or to be cool or to brag, but sincerely just wants to make something great. “I don’t like being comfortable in my work,” Hahne said. “I like to push to make myself a little uncomfortable.” With this idea in mind, it seems that this exhibit is only the beginning for Caleb Hahne.

RULE Gallery

3254 Walnut St.

(303) 800-6776

RULE Gallery

Tues.–Fri.: noon–6 p.m.

Sat.: noon–5 p.m. or by appointment

Exhibit runs: April 1–May 14

Caleb Hahne

Dylan Streight
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