Scion Sponsored Feature
The Scion Installation tour has become a annual happening for the American art scene. Beginning its fifth season in October 2009, Scion booked nine cities with the culminating stop in August 2009 slated for their Los Angeles gallery, where each piece will be auctioned to the public. To date Scion has raised over $190,000 for art-related non-profit organizations. This year’s tour theme, Self Portraits, gives us a glimpse into the psyches of some of our favorite emerging artists and photographers.
Los Angeles born illustrator and street artist RETNA has been a catalyst for change in the street art community. His experimentation with typography and style has transformed the way the art wold views graffiti, and namely tagging. The use of intricate type and wildly colorful texture in mixed media pieces, featured above, are a signature for the artist. These pieces integrate the grace of fashion photography yet highlight the illustrative facets of RETNA’s style.
We have long been intrigued with the work of Jeff Soto. He takes head on the many conflicted themes we encounter each day, portraying a looming smog or an embattled planet coupled with playful inviting creatures. His tentacled beasts and gargantuan robots wage war among floral bouquets and aquatic scenes. His world is one of wonder mixed with the obvious influence of graffiti art.
The way Souther Salazar’s work stokes the imagination, one could easily get lost admiring the details. In what are often complex scenes, characters and environment are given an incredible amount of attention and character. The result is a child-like sense of wonder toward his pieces. Certain qualities (like a healthy disregard for perspective) make his work feel like a modern evolution of folk art.
Blek Le Rat
Among the oldest of schools in graffiti, Blek Le Rat is a pioneer in the stencil art sub genre. Claiming his territory in 1981, his beginning pieces stenciled rats on the city streets of Paris. Almost three decades later his work spans the globe and has transcended the simple one layer stencil. Among the first to bring this art form to the gallery space Blek knows no limits and has arguably the longest running career in the medium.
Located in Culver City, Scion Space introduces Papershapers, a group exhibition featuring the paper based creations of ten artists. The April 11th opening reception will feature a rare U.S. appearance by Shin Tanaka, who’s quickly become the authority in paper toy design. In anticipation of his upcoming appearance at the Scion Space, Scion placed fold up templates of his robots in Giant Robot magazine issues 56-58. Each issue contains a Tanka paper toy, when all four are combined these templates create a super robot.
An open source designer of sorts, Tanaka makes his templates readily available for customization and collaboration. He’s recently worked with some of our favorites such as Nanospore and Issey Miyake. His unique mixture of hip hop, street art, and contemporary design cultures is invigorating audiences and accumulating a cult following in the U.S.