Cover Story: Seth Alverson Copies His Own Paintings, Then Hangs Them Side by Side in a Gallery

Seth Alverson is a genius, a madman or both. If anything, the subject of this week's cover story has pulled off something quite unprecedented.

At Seth's solo art show in 2010, ten of his 16 paintings didn't sell. "Nobody said anything about them," remembers the 31-year-old artist, who often paints scenes that depict imagined or real-life peril. "They were like miscreant stepchildren."

When the show came down, Alverson decided to make duplicates of the unsold work at his Heights live-work space. Earlier this month, he hung those copycats next to the originals. The result, which can be seen through October 8 at Art Palace, was an "exercise in futility," according to Seth.

Seth's friends and various art critics disagree. Instead, they say that Alverson has executed something that run-of-the-mill artists could not, due to his wizardry at creating beautiful paintings that wow with their flawless senses of scale and depth.

Despite these talents, he chooses to recoil from the commercial art world by painting whatever the hell he feels like, says local artist Jenny Schlief. She thinks that Seth, who isn't coming close to making a living off of his art, is one of the top creative types in town.

"He plays a lot with history of painting and palette and juxtaposes that with some fucked-up shit like exploding heads and piles of naked bodies or a mop with a bunch of blood on it," says Schlief. "I also think that the evil twin paintings are brilliant, both the idea and the fact that he executed it."

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