David Jien's "All is Not Lost" @ Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica
In his 2015 feature, David Jien became the only artist in the history of Juxtapoz to request a lizard rental for his photo portrait. A childhood filled with pet reptiles, video games and graffiti funneled into a time-intensive, singular narrative, transforming the artist into a wizard of art alchemy. Of work that takes years to produce, he hauntingly explains, “I am a weaver of tales. Alas it is I, David, Elder Chronicler of Earf. Allow me to navigate you through the corridors of time.” His latest allegorical adventure will soon debut at Richard Heller Gallery. In Jien's meta-verse expansion, he puts all the pencils to work, a graphite army that marches to protect a sacred story the artist has dedicated his life to telling. Continuing to incorporate reflective materials, color, collage, and the ancient art of gold leafing, he casts magical power onto his creations. To call them drawings is an injustice, since they are more like powerful, illustrated scrolls, compressing time and confounding history with their mystery. Jien slowly reveals his characters’ origins and backgrounds through codified, complex storytelling to be deciphered by his followers. It is suspected that collectors of these gems may experience contact with other dimensions. These are the kind of artworks that heist films are made of. Extra security may be on guard at the gallery.
David Jien's All is Not Lost opens at Richard Heller Gallery on September 7th and is on view through November 2, 2019.