Chase Contemporary is proud to present an Exhibition sure to be remembered. The Retna-Warhol exhibition. Andy Warhol, whose name alone sparks a conversation that transcends time and cultures. Warhol is an iconic artist whose works are displayed in galleries and museums globally. He is among the greatest artists of our lifetime. Best known as the leader of the art movement known as Pop Art.Warhol's company included the legendary Jean-Michel Basquait. In addition to his friendship with Basquiat, with whom he collaborated on several artworks with, he had associations with Julian Schnabel, David Salle and other so-called Neo-Expressionists, as well as members of the Transavantgardia movement in Europe, including Francesco Clemente and Enzo Cucchi.
Retna was born in Mid City Los Angeles and started his art career at the young age of 8. A graffiti writer who roamed the streets during the prolific street art movement of the 80's and 90's, he became a legend. In the late 80's, the young Retna was painting murals on buses, trains and walls that he called his "canvas." As a youth, he joined a group of other young graffiti writers and traveled throughout the country painting everywhere and everything they could find that needed a touch of paint. This became his passion and his life.
Today Retna is among the top graffiti artists in the world. In addition to exhibiting at institutions and prestigious galleries in London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Hong Kong (and the list goes on), Retna has done work for brands such as VistaJet, Louis Vuitton, and Nike.
Retna explains that he was inspired to pursue art after seeing graffiti on the freeway. He has become known for his long and geometric script, which he developed while looking towards Egyptian and Native American traditional symbols. Though his marks resemble the calligraphy of multiple cultures (and he maintains that he composes his works in English and Spanish), the writing does not belong to a particular language. Retna explains, “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.”
Chase Contemporary is proud to have these two artist side by side. The Retna-Warhol exhibition is a natural fit, two iconic and inspiring artists. In 2014, Retna was featured in Hong Kong together with Keith Haring in a show that many still talk about today, and we follow up by presenting another show that includes this young artist, Retna, and the legendary Warhol.