SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is proud to present an exhibition of new work by San Francisco based street artist Apex (aka Ricardo Richey). The works in Warp & Weft are a fresh twist on his 2011 Indigo series, which was originally inspired by Apex’s personal love for jeans and his desire to use denim as a fine art surface in a way that incorporated his street art roots.
After experimenting with a variety of denim types, weight, and colors, Apex developed a method for stretching denim over wood panel in place of ordinary canvas. Through trial and error, he found ways to make his colorful, multilayered patterns stick to the surface. The circular canvases are made using Selvage denim, which is woven or knit so it won’t fray, ravel and curl. The title of the exhibition references the process of making selvage denim using one continuous cross-yarn (the weft) which is passed back and forth through the vertical warp beams. This method of weaving is possible only when using a shuttle loom. The large rectangular works in the exhibition were all made using Cone Denim. Cone is one of the oldest denim manufacturers in the US that is also at the forefront of recycling various materials¾such as glass bottles and rubber tires¾to create unique variations of denim in an eco-friendly manner.
In addition to expressing his affinity for denim, Apex’s choice in material is also a throwback to creative side of street culture and the self-painted denim jackets many inner city tag artists wore in the 1980s as a way to represent their crew. The contrast between the vibrant, geometric graphics of Apex’s signature painting style against the texture and weight of the Indigo dyed denim results in a unique and fashionable marriage between fine art, street art, and the history of graffiti writing and tagging. Warp & Weft will be Apex’s first solo show in Los Angeles.
About the Artist: Apex (b. 1978) is a street artist who creates colorful abstract patterns through the use of spray paint. Part of the Gestalt Collective that engages in collaborative murals in San Francisco, Apex has curated mural projects on Bluxome Alley, in various districts of San Francisco, and as part of the SFMOMA display windows in association with St. Johns Community Center. Group exhibitions include Bay Area Now 4, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2005); Calligraffiti: Writing In Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena (2009); White Walls (2011 & 2014); and POW WOW! Street Art Festival, Honolulu (2014).