If Retna and El Mac were a team that worked in a more corporate environment, Retna would be the type guy, El Mac would be the photographer. But they don't make ads or album covers (yet), and they identify as graffiti artists. Retna is one of L.A.'s most prominent writers (and LA Weekly favorite) that has graced most of our city's billboards and blank walls with stunning Heiroglyphic type-forms and textures, now concentrating on legal spaces. El Mac hails from Phoenix and creates beautiful photo-realistic portraits, at monumental scale, mostly of women. They team up on a regular basis, notably for the towering Buddha murals on the gas station at Marathon and Western and the long-standing “Girl with Headphones” at La Brea and Third.
This new show of work at the recently configured Mid-City Arts space will feature live painting, a large-scale indoor mural installation accompanied by smaller pieces and serves as an homage to the neighborhood, something Retna promises with every work he completes, whether its inside a gallery or out in an alley. “These blocks and corners were where I was given the opportunity to do my art and was shown a lot of support by the community,” Retna explains. “Communities like these are where we come from and it feels good to give something back to the future generation of kids doing this.” Word.

Sun., June 7, 2009

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