photo by Angelina Aragon

Artist of the Month: Travis Ivey

Written by Jackie Dishner Category: Arts Issue: February 2018
Group Free

You might look at a security envelope or a near-empty roll of packing tape and see trash. Travis Ivey sees an alternative to paint.

The Phoenix-based artist, 39, who earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at Arizona State University in 2017, uses scissors to shape the inside of recycled envelopes into streetscapes. “I like the printed patterns,” he says. He also cuts up tape (duct, packing, painter’s) into colorful landscapes and abstract pieces. His first brush with the non-traditional medium happened at age 21 in Montana – his home state – where he started taping cigarette ash into contemporary designs on cardboard.

“I think of [tape] as just another pigment,” he says, “And it’s easy to work with. I just grab a piece of tape, cut it, and stick it on. I can add layers to create more depth or darker tones.”

Ivey also paints the traditional way, as “Hank,” his alter ego, who works with acrylics and oils in plein air. One of Hank’s works, a landscape featuring the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, hangs at the Downtown FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel.

Currently, Ivey is experimenting with merging his two artistic personalities. The result is lightly lined geometric patterns of paint that form a new kind of landscape.

“I’m letting the tape influence my [actual] painting now,” he says.

Ivey is speaking about his dual identity as an artist at the Arizona Artists Guild in Downtown Phoenix on February 20, and he will present a workshop to the group in March. To see his work, visit travisivey.com.