Abstract painter creates buzz with exhibit in Seymour

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 28 at 3:00 PM

SEYMOUR, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Like so many before him, Picasso, Monet and other greats, a local artist is identified by a single title. Justin.

His work might be an acquired taste for some.

“He should be a little cleaner,” said a critic.

Justin has only been painting for a year and already his work is admired in exhibits. His most recent is at the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, Ind.

His collaborator, Adonna Combs, is a graphic design artist. She helps to frame and show his work.

“I don’t really paint abstract at all. So, it's kind of like he's teaching me to do this as well,” said Combs.

Justin spends most of his time painting at his studio in Columbus, Ind. Inside the barn, his art comes to life, and it all starts with a little color to coat the canvas.

“Do you want that? Good boy!” said Combs.

As it turns out, Justin is a horse.

“I didn't tell my husband right away because he wouldn't have taken me seriously. Not that this needs to be taken seriously,” said Combs.

Dozens of designs later, some that sell for hundreds of dollars, Justin is paving his way as a painter.

“The paintings do end up with horse hair on them,” said Combs.

His style is his own, and his stroke is sometimes sloppy.

“He doesn't always stay on the canvas and sometimes he spills the paint! Actually, that was pretty nice. I guess he wanted to use some copper,” said Combs.

So, how was Justin’s secret skill revealed?

When I ride him he always takes my whip and just like he did, he draws in the sand and this is how I sort of discovered that he had the talent to do something like that,” said Combs.

Justin finishes each piece with a signature, just like an artist would. His signature is his painted hoof print.

Justin’s sire is also a famous Fresian. He was featured in the film “Bedazzled.” Justin’s work is on display in Seymour until June 30.

He will also be at the 2012 Equine Art, Antique and Rare Book Auction at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. on July 14 at noon.

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