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Around Los Angeles, through the end of the year, keep an eye out for new RETNA billboards going up! There are a few up already at Melrose and Highland, Melrose and La Brea and Santa Monica and Fairfax. Keep an eye out here for the locations of the upcoming ones!


New mural up in Los Angeles on Melrose between Robertson and Almont on the side of Craig’s restaurant.

Am I Half Giraffe

October 9th, 2014


Check out RETNA’s latest art installation in the newly released children’s book, Am I Half Giraffe? A Multilingual Book for Children written by my friend Dr. Jungmiwha Bullock, illustrated by Christopher Matthews! It’s the first quintilingual book for children in the world, written in 5 languages — English, French, Spanish, Korean, and Afrikaans.

An ambitious project involving numerous international contemporary artists and disused Military airplanes is set to make it’s debut on January 28th at the Pima Art and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. The Boneyard Project: Return Trip will include artists Andrew Schoultz, How & Nosm, Nunca(Brazil), Retna, and Faile who will all paint their own individual airplanes, along with cockpit from Saner(Mexico). We took a trip to the desert to get you these exclusive preview photos.

The concept for resurrecting the no longer active airplanes was conceived in spring 2010 by Eric Firestone, and organized with curator Carlo Mccormick. Also on display will be previous work from Eric Firestone Gallery’s Nose Job show that took place last year featuring artist such as Aiko, Bast, Crash, Daze, El Mac, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Futura, Erik Foss, Tara Mcpherson, Richard Prince, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, and many more. We suggest that if you are near Tuscon to not miss this event!

Source: Juxtapoz / The Boneyard Project

‘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)

View RETNA’s installation

July 28th, 2010


For its final exhibition in South Park, RIVERA & RIVERA is excited to present a floor-to-ceiling installation piece by international graffiti artist Marquis Lewis aka RETNA.

RETNA’s installation explores the complex nature of a fluid lexicon derived from hieroglyphs and inspired by street text. Through a spectrum of materials, the text is granted an awe-inspiring dimension.

His previous work includes prominently visible murals in Los Angeles, Milan, New York City, Salt Lake City, Mexico City, Seoul, Barcelona, Melbourne, Tokyo and Taipei (view here).

Join us for the unveiling reception on Thursday, July 29 from 8PM to 11PM or visit the gallery before Saturday July 31st to view the recent installation.


Date: Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time: 8:00PM-11:00PM

Rivera & Rivera
1100 S. Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
( get directions )

T: 310.713.1635

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.

The mural was made possible by Graphaids , Rivera & Rivera Galley, and RVCA.

Photo Credit: Kohshin Finley


Here is also a video Mac put together.


El Mac, Retna & Kofie: JUSTICE Mural for Manifest Equality- Time lapse: from Augustine Kofie on Vimeo.

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