Kelly Hutchison really geared up and got serious about being an artist a year and a half ago. He's been painting like a maniac ever since. But now comes the hard part-shameless self-promotion and getting out there and actually showing and selling some artwork.
"At first, it was hard for even coffee shops to give me the time of day," said the lanky, tattoo-covered artist who cloaks himself with the lurid pseudonym Dark Vomit.
"It was a bit frustrating.... I kinda gave up on the San Diego art scene."
That's when Hutchison moved back to his hometown Cheyenne, Wyo., where-out of sheer boredom from being trapped in a studio apartment one winter-he and his wife Crystal started tinkering around with 3D software.
The tinkering turned into The Demonio Gallery , an animated online video showcasing Hutchison's work (basically, it's a virtual art show with a cool car and a few skeletons thrown in the mix). The video takes five to 10 seconds to download and then runs for a total of one minute, 50 seconds. Within that short amount of time, the viewer is swept into a 3D gallery space and given a complete tour through dozens of Hutchison's paintings.
After the three-year stint in Wyoming, Hutchison and his wife moved back to San Diego, bringing their newfound "animation addiction" with them. Videos 2 through 6 leaned away from the virtual-art-show idea and became more like works of art in and of themselves. The dark imagery is disturbing-naked, headless bodies, crucified skeletons and satanic goat heads give viewers a good peek inside the artist's mind.
"I'm pretty opinionated," explained Hutchison, whose soft-spoken and mellow demeanor seem to contradict his interest in violence and gore. "The videos I've done in the past are pretty brutal, but it just gets old trying to do the whole radical thing. I think we've proven our point."
The latest video-seventh in the series-is a return to the original virtual art show. Oddities and Ends lets viewers make their way through the gallery slowly, pausing at a few of the paintings to get an up-close view and then stepping back for the full effect.
Hutchison said the first day the video went up on the website, it was downloaded more than 1,000 times. Some 90 percent of his sales are done online, he said.
Local galleries seem to be moving more and more toward online business, too. This month, Voice 1156 added an online store to its website. It's a move Voice owner Monica Hoover says has been a long time coming. "It just makes sense," she said, adding that the website won't stop people from attending show openings in person.
"People are going to come no mater what," she said. Some are there for the scene; some are following an artist; some people just want to see what's going on."
Hutchison isn't trading in the gallery scene to go completely online-his work is currently featured in a group show at the Art of Framing Gallery in Normal Heights, and he has several more shows scheduled for 2006-but he's still experimenting with the possibilities of virtual reality. Hutchison is currently looking for local artists to participate in an online group art show and a new 3D video, viewable on www.sandiegoartist.com and other websites starting June 1.
"I already have had an incredible response with 30-plus artists participating," he said, "but I'd like to get a hundred."
The deadline to submit work for the online show and video is May 1.
Visit www.darkvom it.com