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Collections of Red

Low Rider x Dom Ioppolo

Article by Susan McGrady

Photography by Mya Ioppolo

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Low Rider, nestled on the corner of Hygiene Rd and N 75th St, is an oasis of “found beauty and shared stories”. The Low Rider team spends their days road-tripping in a sea foam green vintage Bronco in pursuit of the next find they can bring back to life and send off to its next home, but in between days on the road, they are passionate about finding local and young artists in the community to feature in the shop, from selling their art, jewelry and goods to hosting classes, young artist pop-ups and art shows. The most recent art show Low Rider hosted is, “Collections of Red”, featuring the art of Dom Ioppolo, a student at Silver Creek High School, who spends his days residing and painting at the base of Haystack Mountain, and he is a young artist not to be missed. 


Dom speaks to his collection:

 “'RED' encompasses more than just a color; it represents an observation, a deeper introspection that symbolizes a broader perspective on the world. My art is devoid of personal opinion, relying solely on pure observation and creativity. Often, words fail to fully express my thoughts, prompting me to use art as a substitute for language.

During the creative process, my mind is flooded with countless images, guiding me through the development of my work. The unique appeal of my art lies in its ability to be messy, clean, or a combination of both.

I engage with a variety of materials, including leather, canvas, fabric, wood, and paper. The journey to the final piece often involves multiple attempts, painting over previous layers, and experimenting with new visuals until the desired outcome is achieved. Working on several projects simultaneously allows me not to over-concentrate on a single piece, fostering a natural flow of creativity.”


LR: Dom, where and what inspires you?

DOM: Boulder's like my own art palette. The colors here are just really awesome, you know? And there’s Pearl Street with these cool brick walls—it's like, the way they’re built just pops into my mind when I’m working on my art.

LR: Which artist has been a big inspiration for you?

DOM: Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was just painting one day, and my mom showed me his art. It was wild because it looked kinda like mine. I always wanna keep my style fresh, though—no copying, just being me.

LR: What is art to you?

DOM: Art's like... it's like taking all the stuff I see when I’m quiet in school and turning it into something cool. I’m not a big talker; I’m the guy who watches and listens, and that’s what art is to me—seeing things and making them come alive in my work. So I just really am always observing. Using that to create art, that's why I think “art is just really observation”. 

LR: Have you tried painting with any unusual materials?

DOM: I’ve used stuff like leather and wood, and my dad’s old canvas drop cloths. They're all stained and rough, which makes my art feel more real.

LR: What’s it like being a young artist? Any big challenges?

DOM: Yeah, school can be tough. Like, my teachers don't really see the artist side of me yet. So I'm excited to show them just who I am outside of school. 

LR: How do you get ready to create art?

DOM: I do this thing where I channel other dimensions. But it's like I connect to another place when I paint. It’s intense, so I have to keep things light with incense and crystals to stay grounded. And my visions? They're super vivid, like dreams telling me what to paint next.

LR: You mentioned a portal at your home. Does that influence your art?

DOM: Definitely. This one time, I felt like the whole Native American tribe was right there with me, which was pretty intense. I think their energy helps guide me, like protectors or something.

LR: If you weren’t doing art, what would be your go-to for self-expression?

DOM: I’d say fashion. I catch some flak for the stuff I wear at school. I like to mix it up, and try new styles. People might not get it at first, but then they're all over it. Music's cool too. I've started messing around with instruments, which is pretty awesome.

LR: How has your art changed over time?

DOM: I used to be all about comics, drawing characters and stuff. But then I took that leap from doodling in my notebooks to slapping it on canvases. It worked out. I think my future art will be like the upgraded version of now—same Dom, just better.

LR: How much does community mean to your art, and do you work with other artists?

DOM: I’ve tried to collab, but sometimes people get too opinionated about my stuff. Even in school, teachers critique a lot of my creative ideas and it can get annoying to hear. I don’t really pour meaning into my art; it's more about what it could mean to someone else. Just gotta stay true to myself, you know?

LR: You've got a really mature way of handling your art. How'd you get there?

DOM: Thanks. I guess it’s just about not worrying about what others think too much. Like, just do your thing. If you’re true to that, it’s all gonna work out.


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