Maxwell Colette Gallery is proud to present White Out, new paintings from the renowned Italian graffiti artist Peeta (Manuel Di Rita). This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
With his work, Peeta attempts to isolate the sculptural quality of individual letters, namely the ones that spell out his own moniker. He breaks them free from their generic typographical forms, stylizing them with shape and volume beyond their mere semantic function. Thus the lettering is brought into the fluidity of urban culture, where words are continuously ruptured from their own histories and readapted into idiom and gestures learned off the street. Peeta fuses traditional lettering and three dimensional style into a unique visual rhythm of twisting conic and cylindrical surfaces. The choice to represent and reiterate his own name is akin to painting self-portraits.
The exhibition White Out will present white-on-white canvases inspired by the aesthetics of crystalline water ice: its consistency, its colors, its perceived changes in shape and texture. Peeta explains “tone on tone canvases are painted with the aim of integrating light and shade with the study of shapes. By using the same color for the object and the background, I am able to isolate the projection of shades in their precise variations while also modulating the contrasts between different tones of the same color.”
Peeta states that the paintings in White Out are an “attempt to render the most deceptive condition that snow can cause; in which visibility and contrast are so severely reduced that no reference point remains, and the individual experiences a distorted orientation.” Far from cold, these new paintings instead exude a "bright, sparkling, total whiteness".
About the Artist: Peeta, also known as Manuel Di Rita, currently lives in Venice. A graffiti artist since 1993, he is a member of the EAD crew (Padova, Italy), FX and RWK crews (New York City) and has been exhibited widely in Europe and the Americas. His work explores the potential of sculptural lettering, both in painting and in sculpture. Peeta's works are aimed at revealing the deceptiveness of human perception and the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks which confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately revealing their will to deceive.