Untitled 2, 2018
30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm.)
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Retna, a contemporary artist renowned for his unique visual language, explores the power of text and symbols in his works on paper. Drawing inspiration from diverse sources such as ancient calligraphy, graffiti, and indigenous scripts, Retna has developed a distinctive script that he incorporates into his artwork. This script, a combination of elaborate letterforms and symbols, serves as a form of communication that transcends linguistic boundaries. Retna's language is not meant to be read or understood in a literal sense, but rather it invites viewers to experience the beauty and rhythm of the written word as an abstract visual element. Through his use of text and symbols, Retna creates a sense of mystery and invites viewers to contemplate the deeper meanings embedded within his compositions.
In the medium of works on paper, black on white drawings hold a special significance in Retna's artistic practice. The stark contrast between black and white intensifies the impact of his intricate letterforms and symbols, accentuating their visual presence and creating a sense of graphic power. The absence of color allows the viewer to focus solely on the forms and their arrangement, emphasizing the purity and simplicity of the compositions. Retna's black on white drawings on paper possess a raw and immediate quality, capturing the essence of his artistic vision. They offer a glimpse into the artist's intricate world of symbols and language, highlighting the potency of his visual storytelling and the universal nature of his artistic expression.