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Red Moon Tonight
About the Artist
2018Watercolor on Paper68 x 50 inches
Leaving the Boundaries of Thought
2015Oil on Canvas96 x 69 inches
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Also represented by:
Retna born Marquis Lewis
The 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 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, which he developed while looking towards Egyptian and Native American traditional symbols. Though 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.”
Raphael Mazzucco travels the world, shooting fashion, advertising, and celebrity portraits for leading brands, businesses, and magazines. He has shot bikini-clad models for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue; celebrities ranging from Adrien Brody to Olivia Newton John for a book project; and fashion spreads for publications including Vogue and Marie Claire. Though his schedule is constantly full of such commissions, he also finds time to pursue his own projects. Like his commercial work, his personal work is based in photography and centered upon gorgeous women. He begins with photographs of women in all manner of dress and undress, captured in the midst of action or still and posing. Over these images, Mazzucco paints, sketches, and splashes colorful pigment, creating an exuberant overlay of marks and brushstrokes in celebration of beauty and expression.
Liu was born in Xi’an, China in 1962, an era enflamed by class conflict. Born into a family of landlords who were at the forefront of criticism and public denouncement, Liu learned from an early age the significance of independence. From the age of four, Liu could be found copying illustrations from his sister’s schoolbooks or painting the people and livestock of his rural neighborhood. For him, every landscape held the potential and challenge to express nature’s beauty.
Following his desire to explore his own path in life through art, Liu entered the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in 1987, where he studied classical Chinese artists with Western masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh and Monet. However, Liu felt at odds with the Academy’s classical training and left after two years to teach art classes. It was not until 2007 when he began reading about the self and consciousness through popular philosophers like Socrates, Immanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud, that Liu developed a taste for modern and contemporary art. From then on, Liu’s style of painting evolved from the figural to the abstract.
Liu’s career took an international turn with his 2009 exhibition in Paris at the Salon du Carrousel du Louvre Paris and at Art en Capital where he was awarded a silver prize by Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He moved to Beijing the following year to further his international reputation and exposure. His work, Existence, was collected in 2014 by former US State Secretary, Henry Kissinger. In 2015, Liu participated in the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale for a solo exhibition in the Syrian National Pavilion.
Bernie Taupin is a lifelong visual artist. In the early 1990’s, painting became the main thrust of his creative endeavors. In his early work, Taupin was inspired by groundbreaking Abstract Expressionists including Hans Hoffman, Franz Kline, Anselm Kiefer, and Robert Rauschenberg.
Taupin says, “As in any creative field, we start by emulating work we like, following the path that ultimately leads to finding our own vision, a style we feel is original and unique in its own beliefs, on its own merits.”
Taupin’s artwork evolved from Ab-Ex explorations to a level of self identitfication followed by experimentations with text-based content and minimalist Pop Art concepts. By 2016 and 2017, his works become sculptural constructions bound with cord and wire off and through the canvas. Expressing with found objects and repurposed material and artifacts, Taupin’s multi-layered creations include manipulated flags, scorched paper, wax, wire, wood, corrugated cardboard, fabric, bubble wrap, and resin.
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