Retna Graffiti Gold VisualRETNA (born Marquis Lewis 1979) is a contemporary artist, primarily recognized for graffiti art. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and started his career in the early 1990s. The artist developed a distinctive constructed script derived from: - Blackletter - Egyptian Hieroglyphics - Arabic - Hebrew calligraphy - Native American typographies as well as more traditional types of street-based graffiti. In addition to exhibiting at institutions and galleries in Los Angeles, Miami, London, New York and Hong Kong. With his visual works has done advertising work for brands such as VistaJet, Louis Vuitton, and Nike. Retna has developed a constructed script which he uses in much of his work. Each block of text is a system of hieroglyphs, calligraphy and illuminated script that has been influenced by Arabic calligraphy, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Hebrew, Blackletter, and Native American typographies. Retna's script seem like communicates personal messages and poetry which are not immediately decipherable to a pedestrian audience. His hieroglyphic style artwork has also been seen in the Lower East Side on the Rivington Street Wall near Bowery.
TechniqueA typical studio session primarily involves the creation of new material and continued editions on existing works. Retna notes that his most common media formats are based in painting: first of all acrylic then enamel, aerosols and oils. His work is anchored in typographic forms. Consequently on incorporating elements of Fine Art and graffiti into his varied compositions, RETNA combines visual linguistics, urban poetics, and a timeless, unique power, exploring an eclectic range of media, including graffiti, photography, and painting.
BiographyThe street and studio artist Retna, born Marquis Lewis, picked his moniker from the lyrics of a Wu Tang song that resonated with him in his youth. Retna explains that first of all he was inspired to pursue art after seeing graffiti on the freeway, and his practice now includes street art and painting on canvas. Retna has become known for his long and geometric script.
Retna Graffiti GoldThough his marks resemble the calligraphy of multiple cultures (and he maintains that he composes his works in English and Spanish), the writing does not belong to a particular language. Retna explains, “I want my text to feel universal. I want people from different cultures to all find some similarity in it—whether they can read it or not.” The artist has exhibited at venues throughout the world, with shows at L.A. Art Machine in Los Angeles, CA; Don Gallery in Milan, Italy; Yves Laroche Galerie d’Art in Montreal, Canada; and Art for All in Malaga, Spain; among others.
12×16 inches, 16×22 inches, 20×28 inches, 24×32 inches, 28×38 inches, 30×50 inches
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