White Walls is pleased to present “Signs, Fines, & Cheap Wines,” the new solo show of Barcelona-based artist Max Rippon aka Ripo. “Signs, Fines, & Cheap Wines,” will be Ripo’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. and will feature 25 new works, varying in size from 19×28” to 7’x7’. The opening reception will be Thursday, August 9th, from 7-11pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through September 1st, 2012.
Heavily influenced by sign painting, Ripo creates text-based work with an urban aesthetic, exploring single words and short turns of phrase with a tongue-in-cheek sensibility. Elaborately-drawn fonts, formed with watercolor, ink, graphite, sign painters enamel and oil pastels on delicate handcut paper, allow us to appreciate the aesthetics of the words regardless of their associations.
Fifteen works on paper showcase the malleable shape and form of typography with an energy that feels palpable and dynamic. Using techniques of calligraphy and layering, Ripo crafts letters that appear to jut and curve outside of the page in swift, fluid motion. Bleeding colors and splashes of paint burst beyond the constraints of the page, rendered in incredibly fine detail.
This attention to detail carries over to the artist’s large-scale works, as well. Working with wood, metal, glass, stone and plastic, Ripo replicates the variety of textures he encounters while painting outside, incorporating them as a main visual element. By painting only the negative space of the compositions in white enamel, the natural materials are allowed to play an active role in composing the letters and texts. With a nod to the assemblage art of Rauschenberg, broken mirrors, old signs, scrap metal and other found objects are recontextualized in the work and original tiles from the sidewalks and streets of Barcelona bring an iconic image and texture of the city to San Francisco.
From the Artist:
“I get the most satisfaction when a word fits perfectly to a situation, in expressing something personal that others can relate to.”
Max Rippon (Ripo) was born and raised in NYC. After graduating from art school in the United States in 2005 he quickly left the country for Barcelona, Spain where he has since dedicated himself to painting and creating artwork both in the streets and the studio. In recent years his work has become primarily text-based, exploring and communicating through typography, calligraphy and other hand-painted elements. His works often offer more questions than answers, always with a sense of sarcasm and humor laying beneath the surface. His influences are rooted in his upbringing in NYC, his current life in Barcelona, as well as his extensive travels across Europe and Latin America.
He has illegally exhibited his work in over 36 countries across the world. He has also legally participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in cities such as Barcelona, Vienna, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, London, Basel, and New York.
White Walls Gallery has worked for nearly a decade to exist as the premiere destination for urban art in the Bay Area. Combined with the Shooting Gallery just next door, this 4,000 sq ft space is one of the largest galleries on the west coast. Justin Giarla founded the gallery in 2005 with a commitment to furthering the urban art movement, drawing directly from street art and graffiti culture. Named for its plain white walls, the gallery takes a backseat to the real focus: the work of our artists.
Interview with Max Rippon aka Ripo
Interview with owner/founder/curator Justin Giarla
High-resolution images available upon request
“Signs, Fines, & Cheap Wines” by Max Rippon aka Ripo
Opening Reception – Thursday, August 9th, 7-11 pm
On View Through September 1st, 2012
@ White Walls (www.whitewallssf.com)
835 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA