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Vaguely Political — Residency Art Gallery
1991
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Residency Art Gallery is thrilled to announce our re-opening in August with a solo exhibition from Devin Reynolds titled Vaguely Political. This exhibition will run from August 1stthrough November 7th. We will have limited opening hours and implement safety precautions for the protection of all our patrons. Vaguely Political is an extension of Reynolds’ first L.A. solo show, titled Vaguely Familiar in 2019. Reynolds continues to reference hand painted signage, narrative mural painting techniques and material application on board and canvas. The work in this exhibition depicts the imagery of his blue-collar upbringing in Venice, CA in the early 90s.  Given the rise of gentrification in Venice over the past two decades, Reynolds’ work is often viewed as political with depictions of a Black father raising two children while showing a lesser-known side of the beach city; something that is rarely seen in a community that is now predominantly White and upper class. While the artist’s intent was to pay homage to his family and hometown, the work can be viewed as a social commentary on the Venice area by drawing a line through the current socio-economic situation, gentrification, and the displacement of a largely Black and Brown community. In regards to the work in the exhibition, traditionally, text based art needs a surface medium that is accessible to be viewed as legible or understandable. In Reynolds’ work, we find a space on panel or canvas that is constantly in flux, giving way to paintings that skip around in time much like a collection of subconscious thoughts made up of lucid dreams and memories of a conversation.

Artist’s Statement

Earlier works of mine utilized bright and poppy primary colors, while ‘Vaguely Political’ turns a corner into darker subtle and more subtle tones. At the core of this show is the combination of a reddish brown and the one shot sign painters enamel color process blue. At times these colors come into contact with hints of gold and blocks of black and white. My work references the likes of Mark Bradford, David Adjaye and Margaret Kilgallen but more than any one artist, its the walls of the city, the sign painter who’s name is lost in time, the broad side of the massive cargo ship passing by on our way out to the tuna grounds at work or landmarks that I have seen come and go in the ever changing face of Los Angeles. As I write this outside of my studio door I sit beneath the brutalist looking concrete and steel overpass that sends what sounds like a river of screeches, thuds and honks as cars traverse over the train yard that sits 50 feet to my right, behind a 15 foot tall barbwire chain link fence. This show is indeed a transition of color and representation, but also a continued exploration of narrative painting that touches on stories and moments that attempt to find a middle ground of chronicling non-fictional and fictional scenes of everyday life.

Install Images

Install images by Elon Schoenholz

About The Artist

Devin Reynolds

Devin Reynolds is a painter based out of New Orleans, and received his BA in Architecture from Tulane University in 2017. Originally from Venice Beach, California he grew up working as a deckhand on The Betty O, a local sport fishing boat.  He was raised between flea markets, yard sales and the beach. His early childhood memories are filled with times setting up his mother’s booths at antique shows, surfing and fishing up and down the coast. Devin’s first encounters with art making came in his early twenties in the form of graffiti. His obsession for graffiti took off when he began painting his assumed alias on the sides of freight cars that traverse the railroads of North America. Devin’s art practice finds itself at the intersection of graffiti and his love for nostalgic Americana design and sign painting, through the lens of his biracial upbringing in Los Angeles. Speaking on the cultural duality of his household he says, “Growing up with a quote-un-quote black dad and white mom, I lived in two different worlds. In my mom’s world it was like Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumors and my dad’s was Tupac’s album All Eyez on Me.” Devin’s work investigates personal experience in these two worlds and their mutual relationships to social and political practices in America.

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