Preview: Veng Talks About "The Birds and The Bees" Opening Next Friday
While this title sounds like something parents or health class teachers tell kids about in middle school, don’t expect to learn where babies come from at this show. Instead, visitors can expect to see a combination of light-hearted colored pencil drawings, oil paintings of birds, and watercolors tinged with Northern Renaissance inspiration.
Originating from fellow exhibitor Gigi Chen, the title of The Birds and The Bees thematically inspired the artists’ works. While Chen stuck to playful depictions of women and large-scale bees, Veng depicted several species of birds fluctuating between the realistically painted feathers of his cardinal to his Sword in the Stone-esque owl. With these contrasting styles, the artist seamlessly bridges the gap between his graffiti and fine art backgrounds.
This combination can best be seen in his work Archimedes. If given only a cursory glance, the viewer could easily mistake the background of this piece as chalkboard paint with child-like doodles in the periphery. However, each appearance of wiped away chalk is carefully placed in oil paint by the artist. Much in the way that he bends spray paint to his will in the streets, Veng displays his mastery of oil paint and watercolor for his upcoming two person show at Mighty Tanaka on Friday April 13th from 6pm-9pm.
Text and Photo: Rhiannon Platt