Buy Retna’s hand painted reproductions of superb craftsmanship, that mimic every detail of the master’s work.
A typical studio session primarily involves the creation of new material and continued editions on existing works. Retna notes that his most common media formats are based in painting: acrylic, enamel, aerosols and oils. His work is anchored in typographic forms.
The street and studio artist Retna, born Marquis Lewis, picked his moniker from the lyrics of a Wu Tang song that resonated with him in his youth. Retna explains that he was inspired to pursue art after seeing graffiti on the freeway, and his practice now includes street art and painting on canvas. Retna has become known for his long and geometric script, which he developed while looking towards Egyptian and Native American traditional symbols. Though his marks resemble the calligraphy of multiple cultures (and he maintains that he composes his works in English and Spanish), the writing does not belong to a particular language. Retna explains, “I want my text to feel universal. I want people from different cultures to all find some similarity in it—whether they can read it or not.”
Born Marquis Lewis in 1979 in Los Angeles, he has African-American, Salvadoran and Cherokee ancestry. As a child, Lewis moved between several schools in the L.A. area, becoming more involved in graffiti culture at each location. In 1996, he chose the name Retna from a Wu-Tang Clan lyric.
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