The Art League Presents Dennis Crayon That Which Was Once Whole

By Editorial Team on December 5, 2016

Thu, 08 December 2016 - Mon, 02 January 2017

Dennis Crayon, The Diver, oil on panel, 16"x20". Courtesy of The Art League.
Dennis Crayon, The Diver, oil on panel, 16″x20″. Courtesy of The Art League.


Opening Reception: Thursday, December 8 from 6:30pm to 8pm


That Which Was Once Whole
Master Realist Painter Dennis Crayon Pieces Together the Past
Exhibit dates: December 7, 2016–January 2, 2017
Painter Dennis Crayon uses scraps of old photos as starting points for his paintings and expands outward, using his imagination to fill in the story and objects outside the bounds of the snapshot. It may look as if the torn photograph is embedded on the surface of the painting, but it is not. Crayon is a skilled trompe-l’œil artist, and tricks the eye with his expert realism; perfectly capturing every delicate detail to make his paintings seem three-dimensional.

During an archeological dig near Pompeii in 1998, Crayon saw and became moved by the incredible remnants of Pompeian frescoes. Inspired what he saw in Pompeii, Crayon created this series of paintings to explore and think about the past. With a decidedly modern composition, Crayon uses fragments of old photographs to masterfully complete the lost story, making it whole again. Many of the photographs Crayon uses are family photographs from his childhood, which gives the piece an added sense of nostalgia. The snapshot is often in perfect focus while the background is faded, drawing parallels to memory. “Some memories are really sharp and in focus and others have faded. This gives each piece a sense of time, and reflects on the impermanence of life.”

Crayon notes that he embraces the classical traditions of realism tracing back to the Renaissance masters, and is especially inspired by Caravaggio and Vermeer. “By adding rich, vibrant colors to this traditional structure, I enhance my paintings’ emotional impact.”

Crayon holds a BFA in graphic design from SUNY Buffalo, and he studied classical painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Upon moving to Washington, DC, Crayon fully immersed himself in classical painting techniques and the trompe l’oeil style at Zoll Studio of Fine Art in Timonium, MD and at The Art League. His award-winning work has been exhibited throughout the country. Crayon is an active member in the Washington, DC artistic community and is a member of The Art League and the Arlington Artists Alliance.

Gallery Hours:

  • Daily, 10:00 am–6:00 pm
  • Open Thursdays until 9:00 pm
  • Sundays, 12:00 noon–6:00 pm

*The gallery will be closed December 25 and January 1. Torpedo Factory may close at 5:00 pm for events. Please check Today’s Hours to see if this affects your visit.

The exhibition is located at 105 North Union St., Studio 21, Alexandria, VA. For more information visit or call 703-683-1780