Black Flash

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Black Flash, 2009 Acrylic Airbrushed On Canvas 72"X54" © Roni Feldman
Black Flash
Curated by: Edward Lightner

990 N. Hill Street
# 205
Los Angeles, CA 90012
April 17th, 2010 - May 15th, 2010
Opening: April 17th, 2010 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

downtown/east la
Thursdays - Sundays 1-6 pm
figurative, modern


L2kontemporary is pleased to present the first solo exhibition at the gallery of recent paintings from Los Angeles based artist Roni Feldman, Black Flash.

“There is a powerful energy that occurs in crowds.  I depict it.  I use hundreds of photographs and digitally montage them into a unified composition.  Once montaged, I render my compositions in airbrushed acrylic.  The blurred, ethereal nature of sprayed paint and multitudinous human features create a crystallographic repetition that causes the retina to vibrate.  The effect is sometimes heightened with carefully selected color relationships reminiscent of Joseph Albers’ studies. Along with the flat, even application of airbrushed paint, all of this heightens the similarity among the figures and allows for better comparison.  Tensions form between individual and crowd, uniqueness and difference, abstraction and representation.

“In my work, whirls of figures celebrate, mourn, protest, consume, dance, and embrace alongside other figures that drown, burn, and dissolve.  My crowds evoke the power and ecstasy of unified intention alongside a potential descent into mob mentality.  The works recall the utopian pursuit of 1960's psychedelia, van murals, and other airbrush art forms.  Even in illustration and photography, airbrush is often used to idealize.  But in my work, airbrushed paint is like a thin veil that separates utopia and dystopia, civilization and chaos.

“My recent black on black works are created with varying degrees of matte and gloss acrylics. The figures are often invisible at first glance, yielding a black, minimal plane.  However, sections appear as the viewer passes before the canvas.  The effect acts akin to thought and memory that forms a crowd from disparate times and places, based on both rumination and reality.  Depending upon light, time of day, and location, the figures appear and dissolve, haunting the edge of liminal perception.  These compositions defy an instant read.  Viewers must stand, crouch, and sway to reveal the whole composition.  Each viewer will see different aspects in different orders, revealing narratives that may contrast with initial perception.

“While my paintings have a representational, pseudo-documentary quality, definitive meaning is not easily resolved.  The content is as blurred as the airbrushed figures.  Many of my paintings are inspired by light and space works, op art, and abstract field paintings that do not argue for a state of being so much as enact one. Viewing the works abstractly, I am not compelled to compare socio-politics.  Never the less, my paintings evoke a potent politic. By prompting a singular act of engaged looking, they offer a profoundly different experience than a great deal of contemporary life.”

--Roni Feldman