LOS ANGELES – Opening May 22, New Image Art Gallery presents “Keep Out the Light,” a solo exhibition that features new paintings, sculpture and site-specific installations by Richard Colman. “Keep Out the Light” marks Colman’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2007.
In this most recent body of work, Colman shows the struggles of the architect working “behind the scenes” of the elaborate; both beautiful and claustrophobic among landscapes and artifacts. Richard’s work demonstrates a unique language drawing on the intricacies of an Indian Miniature, to the antiquity of the more abstract and symbolic nature of Byzantine art. Colman’s patterns have the repetition and geometry associated with Islamic tiles and mosaics. Narratives depict day-glo orgies, fusing the sinister with the comical. A pantheon of internalized imagery and shared iconography comes into play in the shape of occult symbols, silhouettes, and rainbow sprays of color, piles of viscera, in a concoction of violence and ecstasy.
The subjects of his paintings-from headless bears to naked men-are presented in a theatrical way, like actors in a play, standing in formation. The work captures the feeling of being frozen on stage, anticipating what will come next and never quite finding out.
The title of the show, “Keep Out the Light,” references the density of Colman’s work, as well as his obsessive work habits, serving as a sort of escape for the artist. The works in this new exhibition exhibit the strength of obsessive patterning and imagery to drive away the delusions of everyday life.
Colman will be constructing a space within the gallery that will both highlight the work and invite viewers to step into the art and explore and experience the landscape of “Keep Out the Light”.
About Richard Colman
Colman was born in 1976 and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Colman graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2002. He has exhibited extensively throughout the world in solo and group exhibitions including Krets, Malmo Sweeden, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, Union Gallery, London, UK and ARKEN Museum Of Modern Art, Denmark. In 2006, Gingko Press released a book cataloging his work titled “I Was Just Leaving.” Colman currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. www.richardcolmanart.com
About New Image Art Gallery
Marsea Goldberg, founder and director of New Image Art, started the gallery in 1994 in her 10 by 10 design studio. Since then, the gallery has grown to attract a global cult following, grabbing the interest of art lovers and collectors worldwide. Renowned for her discriminating eye and solid curatorial skills, New Image Art Gallery continues to show the works of established and emerging artists coming out of the street, skate, fine art and surf scenes. Over the years, the gallery has launched or mobilized the careers of Shepard Fairey, Ed Templeton, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson, Rich Jacobs, Rebecca Westcott, Neckface, Cleon Peterson, Megan Whitmarsh, Faile, Tauba Auerbach, Matt Leines, the Date Farmers, Judith Supine, and Bäst, just to name a few.
Retna was born in Los Angeles, California in 1979. Since first creating a name for himself in the early 1990s, Retna has become an “eternal broadcaster” of sorts, shining a light to the kinetic urban soul of Los Angeles. The name RETNA itself evokes the timeless power, movement and visual vibrancy behind the artist’s acclaimed work. His work merges photography with graffiti style and paint, time with color, couture with street culture, the spiritual with the sensual, and fluidity with grit. Whether his paintings hang in a gallery or wall on the streets of Los Angeles, they serve as a retina through which we view the urban journal of contemporary art.
At an early age, Retna was introduced to L.A.’s mural culture. While still in high school, he led one of the largest and most innovative graffiti art collectives the city has witnessed. He is perhaps best known for appropriating fashion advertisements and amplifying them with his unique layering, intricate line work, text-based style and incandescent color palette reflecting an eclectic artistic tradition. RETNA became just as notorious for his ornate painting technique as his timeless style: he used paintbrushes mixed with the traditional spray can. Many of his pieces synthesize the line between fine art and graffiti, between power and opposition, between tradition and advancement.
Today, Retna traverses between the galleries and streets with ease. Retna is a member of the Art Work Rebels and Mad Society Kings Art Groups. In December 2007, he contributed to a large-scale mural project with El Mac and Reyes called “La Reina del Sur” at Miami’s Primary Flight during Art Basel. His most recent projects include an exhibition titled “Vagos Y Reinas” at Robert Berman Gallery and a mural called “Seeing Signs” at the Margulies Warehouse for Primary Flight.
New Image Art is pleased to announce a new group show entitled “14 Artists.” Selected through a series of studio visits and correspondences 14 young artists have to come together culminating figurative style in various mediums from painting and drawings to sculpture and collage.
Dennis McNett (Brooklyn, NY) will be exhibiting his striking sculpture of a giant Wolfbat. Offsetting these are evocative images by Paul Wackers (San Francisco, CA), pairing decorative and organic, textile-like patterning to create colorful landscapes. Paintings by Richard Colman (San Francisco, CA) along with collages by Erik Foss (New York, NY) depict edgy erotic subject matter that enchant or shock, to the viewers delight. Drawing on psychedelic counterculture is the vivacious portraiture of Eddie Ruscha (Los Angeles, CA), alongside equally spirited painterly images of popular magazine covers by Kellesimone Waits (Los Angeles, CA). Lori D (Portland, OR), a regular jane of all trades adds to all of this with folk-like paintings that are often humorous in nature with an animated quality to them. Layers and layers of torn, collaged newspaper under every painting give texture and depth to Jodrin Isip’s (Brooklyn, NY) images of pensive figures. Juxtaposing the whimsical appeal of Jordin Isip is artist Cleon Peterson (Los Angeles, CA). His hyper-violent paintings reflect the anxiety of our times with clashing figures symbolizing struggle between power and submission in the fluctuating architecture of contemporary society. Recycled artwork by The Date Farmers echoes Mexican-American heritage rooted in California pop culture. Their paintings, collages and three-dimensional sculptures contain elements influenced by graffiti, Mexican street murals, traditional revolutionary posters, sign painting, prison art and tattoos. Keeping the blood flowing through the veins of the streets is the art of Judith Supine (Brooklyn, NY) with his distinct color palette, subject matter, technique, and bold themes; his street installations and collages resonate with a growing audience. Reverberating this is graphic imagery of Skullphone’s (Los Angeles, CA) large painted canvas. Adding a playful yet charming element to the group is muralist and painter My Mo (Berlin, Germany) with hand-painted monsters on brown paper bags.