Last Thursday night, Ramsey Chahine opened his first solo show in Los Angeles at the The Daily Dose‘s exhibition space in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Presented by CARTWHEEL in conjunction with The Daily Dose, “La Luta Art Show” which runs through May 16, 2013 features 25 new works by the artist, ranging from drawings to wall-sized paintings.
“La Luta” means “the fight,” in Portuguese, and Chahine’s work expresses the struggle between higher and lower natures. There are spiritual aspects–including angel wings, halos, stars, cross and Jesus’ name in ancient lettering–shaped by his own beliefs and informed through his study of the Gnostic text, the Gospel of Thomas, and his education at NYU; and profane, like the bottles of liquor marked XXX that reoccur throughout many of his works. In one series each drawing features a nude woman astride a different animal, holding one of these bottles, an unconscious reference to the one of the more transgressive passages in the New Testament
And I saw a woman sit upon a..beast… And the woman…having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations…
Along with being a painter and poet, Chahine–who was mentored by Juliana Lazzaro and taught by Knox Martin–studies martial arts and is a mixed martial arts fighter, so boxing and boxers features in his work as well: There’s Muhammad Ali, Mr T., Mike Tyson, and Tyler Durden from Fight Club (himself and expression of dual nature). To highlight further highlight the nature of fights internal and external, a punching bag and mirror hung in the Daily Dose exhibition space giving the feel of a boxing studio, and the tapas were prepared by the chefs at Raging Bull (coincidentally the name of famed boxer Jake La Motta and the title of one of Chahine’s paintings).
Chahine’s works are bold, with strong strokes and vibrant colors; at the show a number of people said he’s reminiscent of Basquiat, but with his own vocabulary. Chahine is young, only 22, and he’s already starting a buzz among collectors and art enthusiasts; the opening had sales, and a steady flow of artists, residents from the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District), all of whom felt Chahine’s work was a knock out.
Daily Dose Exhibition Space
1820 Industrial Street #103
Downtown Los Angeles Arts District
Los Angeles, CA
Open Monday-Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday 9am-8pm; Sunday, 10am-3pm
or contact Cindy@cartwheelart.com