“I want my text to feel universal. I want people from different cultures to all find some similarity in it—whether they can read it or not," RETNA says of his newest body of work, in what he notes is a series of figurative paintings that reinterpret the Spanish art that came to the Americas via colonization in the 1500-1800s and offer a nod to his earlier work embellishing urban bus stop advertisements. In our mind, Los Angeles has emerged as an international art capital, in good part due to the partnerships among its many institutions. One way Southern California has been able to connect the “art dots” has been through Pacific Standard Time, themed initiative umbrellas which multiple museums and galleries curate. Through January 2018, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will be a focused “exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.”
As New Art notes, muck like RETNA’s life, this new body of work internalizes the multi-cultural variation that binds people together and makes Los Angeles one of the great global melting pots. This exhibition salutes the influences that come together in art, people and places throughout history, with RETNA offering a deep bow to his heritage and the city of Los Angeles.
RETNA's Mano a Mano will be open through October 28, 2017.