Los Angeles’s own Revok stepped further into the fine art world this weekend with his new show at Library Street Collective‘s space in Mid-City, Los Angeles. Titled “SYSTEMS”, it explores several ideas on canvas, a first for the artist to use this medium for an exhibit, and blank metal street signs, a medium he is, without a doubt, familiar with from his days as a graffiti writer (Ironic note: Apparently Revok’s vendor for the street signs is also Los Angeles city’s street sign supplier).
This piece was the star of the show, not only in its size but also in its complexity in execution, especially since all the other pieces in the show seemed straight forward. This is from a series called “Tape Loop Paintings”, created by rolling a paint covered paint roller wound with tape and transferring its paint onto the canvas surface with all its idiosyncrasies. It was really tough to get this shot with so many people hovering over it to figure out how it was painted.
This grouping was my favorite from the show, just because of the engineering that took to create the pieces. When I see these, in my mind I’m trying to design my own version of the jig that Revok uses in the Instagram video below. This series is titled “Instrument Exercises”. Watch the video and you’ll see why.
8 spray cans ejecting its content in exact synchronicity… It is completely mechanical, but there’s still poetry in it.
“Anti-paintings”. These felt sophomoric. The artist first painted names of passed friends and family on the blank street signs, then scrubbed them out, only blotches and silhouettes of the original being left behind. Decorative at least, meditative at most.
The last of the 4 series included in the show is titled “Self Portraits”, which aren’t self portraits at all, at least not in the traditional sense. Cloths that were on his studio floor for the last months to years were stretched onto painted canvas surfaces. Like the Anti-paintings, these fell short for me. I couldn’t get a good picture of the series, but you can see parts of them in the left-hand side of the above photo.
Overall, it was a fun show with large crowds taking in the creative atmosphere in the room. Although this feels like Revok’s foray into the more traditional white-walls-gallery type shows, the tools that he utilizes to accomplish it are not traditional at all. I’m looking forward to the next phase of ingenuity from Revok, #JasonRevok.
-Los Angeles, CA