MARCH 23 APRIL 28, 2012

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2012, 7 9 PM

GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based artist Roni Feldman. This marks Feldman's first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Feldman's paintings depict the powerful energy that occurs in crowds. Many of his subjects smile, embrace and celebrate, alongside others that scowl, fight and destroy. They evoke the power and ecstasy of people assembling in unified intention, who could also descend into a mob. Tension forms between individual and crowd, uniqueness and difference, abstraction and representation.

Drawing upon hundreds of photographs of people, Feldman paints elaborate crowds in airbrushed acrylic by spraying transparent, glossy varnish against a matte black background. This creates an iridescent black-on-black effect that invites viewer engagement. The figures within them might at first appear to be invisible against a solid black canvas, but they reveal themselves when the viewer moves to different vantage points in relation to the painting. Consequently, each painting defies an instant read, allowing the narrative to change as more is revealed.



Feldman paints with deliberate precision, and yet, by the nature of the airbrush technique, his works appear soft edged, or what might be called "out-of-focus." It is this technique that recalls the utopian pursuit of 1960s psychedelia, van murals, and other airbrush art forms. Even in illustration and photography, airbrush is often used to idealize. In Feldman's work however, the fogginess of airbrushed paint is like a thin veil over his crowd, separating utopia from dystopia, civilization from chaos.

Alongside utopia and dystopia, Feldman also includes light and sight, narrative and content, states of mind and the experience of viewing art itself as his subject matter. In his painting Beacon, Feldman depicts hundreds of people seeking things: treasure hunters, detectives, archaeologists, miners, and more. There are also people hiding things, such as grave diggers or people burning books. This hiding and seeking metaphor reinforces the artist's fundamental belief in the art viewing experience as one of contemplative discovery.

An opening reception for Roni Feldman will take place on Friday, March 23, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The exhibition will remain on view until April 28, 2012.