October 26th, 2011
The Black Magic print is now available at Iron Eye Publishing
October 21st, 2011
August 10th, 2011
August 24th, 2010
The September issue of Juxtapoz has just been released and I feel honored to be featured in the magazine with some well respected artists and friends of mine, including INSA, Richard Colman, KC Ortiz and Pose.
The September issue of Juxtapoz is kind of like the All-Star Game. You have Retna, Jeffrey Deitch, INSA, Richard Colman, KC Ortiz, Pose, Allyson Mellberg, and Jamie Caliri all in there just in time for back to school and back to work and whatever “fall” back things you have going on. Our newsstand cover, Los Angeles based fine artist, Retna, is introduced in a special piece by new MOCA director and former gallerist, Jeffrey Deitch. We caught up with subscriber-cover INSA in London, jumped around California with Richard Colman, and went to Chicago to eat the best hot dogs money can buy with Pose and KC Ortiz. And somewhere on rural hill in the South, we found Allyson Mellberg. There is more, but you have to read it to find that out. (via Juxtapoz)
August 18th, 2010
Artists’ Reception: Saturday, August 21, 2010 | 7–10pm
Exhibition continues through September 25th.
The collection of Polaroid portraits of women in the adult industry is the culmination of a 2 1⁄2 year project. In his work, Shameless makes a startling correlation between disposable art and women who are perceived as disposable within the adult industry. The Polaroid’s capture their subjects in their own intimate environments without exploiting but rather celebrating the normality of what society often considers a very un-normal lifestyle.
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August 12th, 2010
‘Installation’ isn’t quite accurate — this piece is an immersive experience. The giant letters MSK, that stand for his graffiti crew (Mad Society Kings), leap off the wall in menacing swaths of black fabric. You don’t look at it or stand within it — you are engulfed by its colossal and stately energy.
Retna specializes in images that are timeless, simultaneously old and new. His paintings of religious figures feel as old as icons despite the DayGlo colors and modern style. He adds the glow of Madonnas to El Mac’s murals of common human subjects. His unique use of the Latin alphabet to encode English and Spanish messages in his work marries the ancient to the modern, and uniquely taps into the eternal and the shared. When you look at the words, something deep inside your brain tugs at you with familiarity, an understanding buried in the Jungian collective unconscious. By its nature, graffiti is history, each artist painting over the next to leave his mark, the images layering over each other as artifacts of experience.
In that spirit, the installation is actually two layered pieces, one on top of another, like sequential civilizations discovered in an archaeological dig.
The act of creating the piece was a play on this idea of history in the making. His original mural covering the walls and floor was simply uninspired. Inviting his friends and collectors to vent themselves in any way they wished as long as it left a visual trace, raucous expressionism ensued. By morning, the mural was ruined in a manner akin to the vulnerable demise of art left on the streets.But a liberated vision was born.
The resulting work is texturized by its predecessor. The added depth granted by the stark contrast between the old and new offers an inspired metaphor of human evolvement. His brush strokes, calligraphically precise in his previous works, are messier here, drippier, less saturated. They snake around the walls, just like the names of the people who have contributed to Retna’s development as a person and an artist. (via Rivera & Rivera Gallery)
August 12th, 2010
August 12th, 2010
July 26th, 2010
RETNA and EL MAC have teamed up for another mural, this time in Culver City. Their newest mural, titled Of Our Youth, can be seen on the side of Graphaids art supply store, on La Cienega between Jefferson and Washington.
The imagery and text used in this mural was inspired by their time spent at Skid Row, while painting their previous mural. The artists met a man by the name of Ralph Woodruff aka Chato and were inspired by this man’s past hardships, experiences and overall outlook on life. His ability to recognize his mistakes and atone for his sordid past was something that resonated with RETNA. The text which reads, “So today I’m trying to change a few things to rectify the situation of my past. So today I’m looking towards the future (of our youth highlighted)” is a quote taken from their conversation.
Photo Credit: Kohshin Finley