SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is proud to present new work by Denver based artist Ravi Zupa. Hard Dream is Zupa’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and is a testament to where he comes from, where his mind has traveled, and the extent of his innate artistic eye and capabilities.
Zupa’s paintings layer imagery referencing a variety of cultural symbols and styles such as traditional renaissance painting, Japanese wood block prints, North American sign painting, tyrannical propaganda, and religious iconography. The manner in which Zupa blurs one cultural reference into another and collages canvas, paint, ink, pencil and prints provides a balance between the past and present, creation and defacement, man versus machine, and dreams versus realities.
We’re certainly in a hard place and the realities that we find ourselves in force us to dream hard dreams. But with hard dreams comes deep freedom. – Ravi Zupa, 2013
A second, more playful series in Hard Dream depicts a selection of tasks one can perform with opposable thumbs. Animal characters, some of which have appeared in Zupa’s earlier works, are portrayed engaging in human activities that specifically involve weapons, hunting, exploration, and sport. However, the only human characteristic of these figures is the opposable thumb. Is Zupa providing a witty commentary on human behavior and practice versus what we are actually capable of accomplishing in the world?
In an age of over stimulation and exposure to anything and everything from the past present and future, Zupa’s paintings speak to the idea that meaning is created through how we combine and structure what we see, feel, know, and learn. In this way we are able to dream up something more beautiful, more dynamic, that is greater than just the sum of its parts.
Zupa’s art education started with his family and continued on at his local library. He is in his mid-thirties and is based in Colorado. He has had solo exhibitions in London, Copenhagen, Denver, San Francisco, and Mexico City.
Hard Dream will open to the public on Saturday, October 26 with the artist in attendance and will be on view through November 23. SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS will be releasing a limited edition artist print in conjunction with the exhibition.