|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007)|
The Dikeou Collection is a Contemporary Art Collection in Downtown Denver that was established in 1998 by siblings, Devon Dikeou and Pany Dikeou. It is free and open to the public.
Operating as an extension of New York publication zingmagazine, the Dikeou Collection features work of approximately 30 international artists. Devon Dikeou is an artist herself, the founder, editor, and publisher of zingmagazine, as well as a collector. Her interest in the platform of exchange between collector, artist, viewing context—museum, collection, gallery, magazine—and viewer engendered her artistic practice, zingmagazine, and the formation of the Dikeou Collection.
In 2003, the Dikeou Collection opened to the public; it is located in the Colorado Building, which dates from the 1800s and still has the original mail chutes, floors and architecture. The first leg of exhibition space featured the work of 10 artists: Rainer Ganahl, Ester Partegas, Juan Eduardo Gomez, Giasco Bertoli, Simon Periton, Vik Muniz, Momoyo Torimitsu, Dan Asher, Lee Stoetzel, Paul Ramirez Jonas. The work of Misaki Kawai, Luis Macias, Jonathan Horowitz, Chris Johanson, Sarah Staton, Wade Guyton, The Royal Art Lodge, and additional works by both Paul Ramirez Jonas, and Lee Stoetzel were added and the space expanded in 2004/5.
In September 2006, the exhibition space again doubled to include seven more artists: Janine Gordon, Lawrence Seward, Tracy Nakayama, Chris Gilmour, Lisa Kereszi, Serge Onnen, and Devon Dikeou herself.
In 2007, the exhibition space further expanded again to include five new artists: Agathe Snow, Margaret Lee, Joshua Smith, Johannes Van Der Beek, a solo sculpture by Drue Langlois (a past member of the Royal Art Lodge), and a lobby installation by Misaki Kawai.
In the fall of 2011 new work was installed by Nils Folke Anderson and Lucky DeBellevue. The Spring of 2013 will feature new installations by Lizzi Bougatsos, Anicka Yi, Sebastiaan Bremer, Margaret Lee, Justin Goldwater and Anya Kielar.
The works collected are meant to fulfill a complete vision of each artist given their particular medium. Each artist’s work is presented in an intimate setting, accompanied by the artists’ zingmagazine projects and statements as a complement to their work.
The Dikeou Collection is one of the private collections that is open to the public worldwide to be included in the debut edition of The BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors. "The BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors is the first joint publication by BMW and Independent Collectors, a partnership that began in 2009. Like other collaborative projects, this guide serves a collective goal: making private contemporary art accessible to the public."
Agathe Snow's “Sludgie the Whale” is a site-specific installation that depicts the innards of a baby whale in a post apocalyptic environment. With the carcass empty to walk through, the installation’s title comes from the name of a baby whale caught in the Gawanus Canal. Her curated project documenting the parade performance associated with the whale installation is published in zingmagazine 22.
Chris Gilmour’s “Ford” is a replica of a formula one Ford made entirely out of cardboard that reminds us that even the most expensive things can be appropriated in some sense.
Chris Johanson, part of the San Francisco movement of artists known as the Mission School, marries his own graffiti style with EST-like exploration in the miniature sculpture, “Mountain Fortress”. His project, “Another Contemporary Co-Existing Histories” appeared in zingmagazine 21, which also published a music CD, “Solo Soul Show”, that Johanson curated.
Dan Asher’s nine photographs of Greenland and Antarctica are accompanied by four looped projected videos made at the London Aquarium. These images, both still and video, question our relationship to water and nature. Several of the images appeared issue 7 of zingmagazine, and a photo series of female boxers was published in zingmagazine 13.
Devon Dikeou’s “Once Upon a Time” is an installation that explores space inversion by placing an old-fashioned American pressed plate ceiling tin on the floor. Left for visitors to walk on and deface, the piece aims for destruction through participation.
Drue Langlois’s “Polio With Palsy” is a creation from the artist’s arsenal of characters and is a larger-than-life felt man holding his dog. As part of the Royal Art Lodge, Langlois’ work has appeared in zingmagazine 18 and 11.
Ester Partegàs’s “Homeless” is a life-size replica of a coach class airplane chair made out of Styrofoam, and accompanied by a series of commercial packages and shopping bags. Her drawing of a sales receipt, “Detours”, was published as a poster in issue 17 of zingmagazine.
Giasco Bertoli’s wrap-around photograph features the images of 33 record covers that have the word blue in their title. Several of his projects have been featured in zingmagazine 14, 15, 17, and 22.
Juan Eduardo Gomez’s series of drawings entitled “Share” explores the roles of artist and muse in the sexually charged charcoal drawings—published in issue 10 of zingmagazine. Another suite of drawings appeared in zingmagazine 21, as well a project he curated with Alex Katz in zingmagazine 22.
Janine Gordon’s series, “Dirt”, includes photographs that the artist makes by inserting herself into a Mosh Pit and becoming one with her subjects. Similarly, her photo project on dirt bikers, “Stunts”, make up her curated section in zingmagazine 21.
Johannes Van Der Beek’s “Newspaper Ruined”, like Calder’s “Circus”, is a miniature spectacle on a grand scale. Circus or City—Babylon or Venice, Ringling’s or Big Top, Paris or Prague—it is made entirely out the New York Times and displayed on a continent of a table.
Jonathan Horowitz’s “Best Actress” is a series of pink framed text images that bear the names of a number of actors, which, when examined, appear to be the marquees of Julia Roberts’ films. He has had two projects in zingmagazine, “Howard the Duck” in issue 3 and “A Peacock Hill Family Album” with Rob Pruitt in zingmagazine issue 19.
Joshua Smith’s “Untitled (Speakers)” exists as a pair of working free-standing “old-school” speakers that resonate with the sounds of Roy Orbison’s, “Only the Lonely”. Played in an endless loop, the song and the speakers reiterate that distance of the artist and viewer. He is published in zingmagazine 22.
Lawrence Seward’s sculpture, “1989”, is a large papier-mâché self-portrait depicting himself in the year of the title. Dressed in a flannel shirt and sporting a mullet-style haircut, the figure stands akimbo with mouth agape. But the real treasure is in the back of the mouth, where one usually sees the tonsils. Seward’s watercolors flank the sculpture, depicting “paradise” in all its glory and flaws. Seward has been published in zingmagazine 14 and zingmagazine 20 in a project entitled “Hale Kapu” with John T. Koga.
Lee Stoetzel’s “Accidental Tourism” is a series of photographs that, on first inspection, appear to be landscapes from places as far-flung as Cape Cod beaches and Himalayan Mountains. But, in fact, they are close-ups of the window panes of the artist’s studio. The project was published in zingmagazine 17, and his project “McMansions” was in zingmagazine 21.
Lisa Kereszi’s series, “Drinking”, first was published in zingmagazine 9 and is an exploration of alcohol, and its subject matter in her hands is edgy, lonely, spirited dangerous, and youthful. She has projects in zingmagazine 6, 16, 20, and in 22.
Luis Macias’ “A Fine Monday Morning” was published in zingmagazine 8 and both this series of prints (replete with conversation bubbles) and his video “Super Barn” explore the relationship of décor to owners. He has curated projects in zingmagazine 11 and 17.
Margaret Lee’s “Think About Tomorrow, or Don’t”, an installation inspired by a monument for the Wright Brothers, explores the idea of hopefulness and its potential backlash, much less its misinterpretation. Her project “Old Things” was published in zingmagazine 21.
Misaki Kawai’s “Large Airplane” is an ad hoc collage of materials that she has assembled into a double-decker dollhouse in the form of a Jumbo Jet, complete with miniature passengers, pilots, and stewardesses all dressed up and visaged with several of the Beatles’ faces, and every once in a while, the artist herself. Her project, “Vitamin Island”, is in zingmagazine 22.
Momoyo Torimitsu’s “Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable” is an installation of two 13-foot-tall (4.0 m) inflatable pink bunnies, that because the ceiling height is just under 13 feet, seem to be getting smothered. In zingmagazine 15, a series of her drawings and studies for “Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable” was published.
Paul Ramirez Jonas’ “His Truth is Marching On” is an installation of large wooden chandelier armature from which hang 80 wine bottles partially filled with water, and when tapped in sequence play the notes of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. His accordion print “100” snakes in and out of three rooms and presents the images of people from 0 to 99 years of age. “100” appeared in zingmagazine issue 14 and another project, “Magellan’s Itinerary” was published in zingmagazine issue 16.
Rainer Ganahl’s suite of “Lectures and Seminars” photographs present images of both the audience and the featured lecturer(s) delivering their lectures, his work acts both as a platform of informational exchange and a travelogue. Several of the images make up a section of the same title in issue 15 of zingmagazine, “Iraq Dialogues” appeared in zingmagazine 19, he curated a project in zingmagazine issue 2.
The Royal Art Lodge’s “Christmas Story” was published zingmagazine 18 and the drawing collaborative, via the exquisite corpse tradition, created a series of drawings on their own unique idea of Christmas. Another “Christmas” series was published in zingmagazine 11.
Sarah Staton’s “Endless Column” is located opposite the literal column in the Dikeou Collection and is a painting made with bleach on a canvas of black denim that depicts a “Dagwood” sandwich of American Fast Food. Her “Gertrude Stein” explores the relationship of patronage and women in the history of art. Staton’s “How the West Was Won and Lost” was published in zingmagazine 15 and she and Pauline Daly co-curated “Blue” in zingmagazine 4.
Serge Onnen’s installation in the lady’s restroom consists of an animated looped video with the various characters crashing things together and is installed on top of wallpaper designed by the artist depicting similar characters covering their ears. His book project “0” was published as an accompaniment to zingmagazine 16, and his project “Sanitary Park” was published in zingmagazine 17.
Simon Periton’s “Radiant Anarchy Doily” is a cutout doily that radiates around the symbol of anarchy. Three of his barbed wire targets, in three different colors, also play with the issue of perception, depth, beauty, and youth. His project “What’s Mine is Yours, What’s Mine is Mine” was published in issue 12 of zingmagazine.
Tracy Nakayama’s drawings play with sexual and pornographic stereotypes, and this suite of drawings address these ideas with humor. Many of the same drawings were published in her zingmagazine 12 project, “Art for the Practicing Heterosexual”.
Vik Muniz’s “Last Supper” is a triptych photograph of chocolate syrup, which has been manipulated into a drawing of the “Last Supper”, inspired by the Warhol images of the same subject. His series “Pictures of Air” appeared in issue 16 of zingmagazine.
Wade Guyton’s “The Room Moved and The Way Blocked” is an installation consisting of a large parkay block that literally fills the entire room, wedged between two walls and a column, and it blocks one of the five entrances. Guyton’s work appeared in a section of zingmagazine 3 curated by John Connelley.
Devon Dikeou’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, installed in the hallways of the Collection, features over 70 lobby directory boards fashioned after the directory board from the 420 West Broadway Gallery Building that housed legendary dealer Leo Castelli’s Gallery. Each sign was made for a group show that the artist was included in, and displays the names of the artists in the show, curator, gallery date, and title of the show. An additional set of signs was made for all the zingmagazine issues that have been published.
Lee Stoetzel’s painting, “Broken Irregularities”, and print, “Skull”, delve into post cubist space through the use of wood patterns, and create an interesting dialectic with the history of traditional image making. zingmagazine has published two of Stoetzel's projects: in issue 17, “Accidental Tourism”, and in issue 21, “McMansions”.
Misaki Kawai’s “Mars Investigation Laboratory”, a diorama that is displayed in the lobby of the Collection, explores the fictional Red Planet inhabited by miniature birds and space men making all kinds of doll-like experiments. Her “Vitamin Island” is in zingmagazine 22.
Momoyo Torimitsu’s “Miyata Jiro” is a robotic replica of a Japanese businessman who is capable of literally crawling on the ground. The artist made six performances, assisting the Miyata dressed as a nurse, around the world, all of which are documented and shown in a simultaneous video presentation. She has been published in zingmagazine 15.
Paul Ramirez Jonas’s “Pause and Play” is a self-reliant one-man band that intermittently plays a tune using its own pneumatic drums, cymbals, and whistles. His “A-M-N-E-S-I-A” project was published in zingmagazine 18.
New works from Lizzi Bougatsos, Anicka Li, Sebastiaan Bremer, Margaret Lee, Justin Goldwater and Anya Kielar are forthcoming.
Current and Past Programs include director/docent-guided tours and cell phone tours, an Open-Shelf Library, Poetry Readings, zingmagazine Newsstand, Reading Groups, an Artist/Collector/Writer’s Lecture Series, and finally both a Music Series and a Drawing Group inspired by the work of the artists in the Collection.
The Dikeou Collection reading series has featured the following poets and fiction writers: Bin Ramke, Elizabeth Robinson, Maureen Owen, Jake Adam York, Mary McHugh, Roxanne Banks, Marina Graves, Betty Emmanuel, James Bellflower, Selah Saterstrom, Noah Eli Gordon, Sara Veglahn, Sasha Steensen, Gordon Hadfield, Dan Beachy-Quick, Jen Tynes, Peter Michelson, Ken Arkind, Brandon Johnson, Elina Vassilakou, Charlie Hoge, Matthew Cooperman, Aby Kaupang, Evan Cantor, Leo Goya, Kayanne Pickens-Solem, Marcelo Games, Bob Mulligan, Eleni Sikelianos, Andrea Rexillius, Bill Rector, Andrew Allport, Jonson Kuhn, Anne Heide, Katy Lederer, Amy Catanzano, Tina Celona, Bryan Comer, Hilary Depolo, Mark Irwin, hl hix, Tovio Roberts, Richard Froude, Nate Jordan, Erik Noonan, Leah Candelaria-Tyler, Mathias Svalina, Steve Katz, Elizabeth Sheffield, Susan Steinberg, John Michael Rivera, Cole Swensen, Greg Howard, Julie Carr, Mackenzie Carigan, Laird Hunt, Dan Machlin, J’lyn Chapman, Julie Doxsee, David Buuck, Jess Wigent, Brian Kiteley, Eric Baus, Arda Collins, Erik Anderson, Andrew K Peterson, j/j/[pleth, Amy Whitaker, Joseph Cooper, Travis Cebula. A curatorial section in zingmagazine is devoted to many of these performances in zingmagzine 22, curated by Rachel Cole Dalamangas, who was also the curator of the performances.
The Dikeou Collection initiated its first Reading Group, the “Warhol Reading Group” in 2008. It gathered monthly for one year and examined many aspects of the work of Andy Warhol, and featured Warhol Factory impresario, Mark Sink, leading the Reading Group on a special night with insights to the Warhol mystique. Further Reading Groups are planned for the future.
In addition, the Dikeou Collection has created an Artist/Collectors/Writers’ Lecture Series. Lee Stoetzel presented two distinctive lectures from different perspectives in the Contemporary Art World: from his perspective as an artist, as well as from his perspective as a curator and collector for the West Collection, a Contemporary Art Collection in Philadelphia. Amy Whitaker, author of the book Museum Legs, gave a special lecture exploring varying perspectives of visiting different art museums, while promoting her new title, Museum Legs. Paul Ramirez Jonas’ Lecture, in turn, inspired a series of evenings of musicians jamming tunes inspired by the work of Ramirez Jonas, particularly the installation, “His Truth is Marching On”, a large “chandelier” with bottles of partially filled with water, which, when tapped sequentially, play the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
Because of the success of the Paul Ramirez Jonas Music events, the Dikeou Collection initiated a longer, more prolific Music Series, inviting both local and traveling musicians to play at the Dikeou Collection. Following a similar format, every First Friday of the month, the Dikeou Collection hosts musicians playing work inspired by the artists of the Dikeou Collection.
In 2007, collaborating with the Museo de las Americas, curator Devon Dikeou and artist/curator Lee Stoetzel produced “Vik Muniz: Remastered”, a micro-exhibition featuring work of Vik Muniz's from The West Collection in Philadelphia.
In 2006, the Collection hosted the Invisible Museum's “Unwrapping the Wing” exhibition, by the Invisible Museum Curator in residence Devon Dikeou. The Dikeou Collection has hosted many select groups from local Colorado art institutions, including: the Denver Art Museum, the University of Colorado Museum of Art, Museo de las Americas, The Lab at Belmar, and the MCA Denver, among others.
In collaboration with zingmagazine, the Dikeou Collection also publishes zingrecsDENVER, zingrecsAUSTIN, zingrecs LA, zingrecsChicago and zingrecsNY, a free weekly listing of exhibitions, music, film, poetry, and more.
- Dikeou Collection web site
- Denver’s best-kept art secret is on the 16th Street Mall
- Dikeou Collection in Modern in Denver
- USA Today article