Karlis Rekevics is a New York artist. Not simply in the sense that he lives and works in New York. He looks at New York. The city is the primary muse for his long and rich artistic career. Rekevics’ work draws from architecture and the man-made urban landscape of this very specific place and then translates this experience into large-scale drawings and sculpture.
For this first-ever cultural exchange, sponsored by the City of La Havre and Triangle Arts (NYC) the artist proposes to take this New York sensibility and look at a different city that is much-influenced by New York. Karlis is intrigued by the connections between the cities: the maritime history, the architectural and aesthetic characteristics that have inspired generations of artists. He is also interested looking at the differences; teasing out the urban idiosyncrasies that define a place. Through his highly developed visual language, he wants to hold a lens up to both cities and create drawings that reflect similarities and differences. The residency is from October 9-December 23, 2011.
Rekevics creates large-scale drawings and sculptures that are inspired by the urban environment and are then translated through his memory, drawing practice and specific visual language. His works suggest the unlovlier parts of the urban environment, expediently built, unconsidered, usually peripheral, often decaying elements of the city, which we habitually encounter but almost never register. Yet these references are simply Rekevics’ starting point. His real subject is the way memory transforms perception. His sculptures and drawings are rooted in real experience, but it is experience tempered by recollection—changes, fragmented, conflated and reordered—before being translated into an intensely physical metaphorical language.
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