Belgian street artist ROA opened his first West Coast solo on Saturday(11.13) @ New Puppy, presented by Thinkspace. This new gallery work continues the artist’s exploration of the collision between natural and man-made worlds. It is also a comment on the importance of considering the unseen or overlooked – be it animals within the looming urban landscape, or their delicate nature. The latter is conveyed through an epic wall mural installation and clever pieces which offer dual views of various fauna – an exterior view coupled with a skeletal one or one that reveals the animal’s pulmonary system. All of this is executed with ROA’s stark, highly detailed black + white signature aesthetic on various ‘found’ canvases which draw attention to urban sprawl and decay.
The new work highlights ROA’s craft in providing these dual views through several different approaches – accordion style pieces created out of household doors placed at 90 degree angles, window shutters that flip to reveal another reality, strategically placed panels which open to reveal an animal’s innards, and finally a video projection installation which reveals alternating views of a boar’s stomach contents. Speaking of video projections, the show offers several – two of which present an overview of ROA’s street work spanning the globe for those not familiar with his history and aesthetic.
The highlight of the show is clearly the expansive wall mural installation with a scene featuring a cunning fox stalking a horde of rodents played out across a jumble of found doors, drawers, street signs and more. The installation invites viewers to open panels and doors to reveal the animals’ fragile yet vibrant nature.
Highly recommended for all those inspired by the allure of art created in the street.