Friday, November 8
8 – 11p
November 8 – 27
Wednesday, November 27
8 – 10p
Stay Gallery is pleased to present Strawberry Fields: A Dedication through Letters and Dramas, a solo exhibition featuring the works of painter, illustrator and graphic designer for The Hundreds, Eduardo Viramontes.
Strawberry Fields explores the concept of nostalgia through the use of color, texture and accustomed imagery. This exhibition also examines the specific dreamlike memories associated with growing up as an American of Mexican descent.
A note from the artist –
“Nostalgia and the beat of Los Angeles serve as a common thread throughout my work. I recreate visual vernacular found amongst the city onto canvas and installations through multiple techniques and a wide array of uncommon tools, such as plastic bags as brushes.
The varying techniques used in Strawberry Fields reveal an evolution of mediums explored throughout my career. There is mark making, learned in my early years of painting graffiti; calligraphy and typography, acquired during years of studying and experimentation; and graphic design from my time in design school and throughout my professional career. Together, the mediums build upon one another and capture a timeline of my career.
Each piece in Strawberry Fields encapsulates a personal moment or memory, while simultaneously mingling with the time spent crafting and building the work – a tension between childhood wonder and contemporary day-to-day life. Every painting performs – as influential American painter Mark Rothko said – like a drama. The word ‘drama’ embodies the performance-like movements and mark making acts that occur whenever I paint. It also encapsulates the continuous back and forth pull of addition and subtraction while painting – similar to the natural process seen on walls throughout the city.
The overall theme revolves around the concept of masking emotions; the idea of exposing the truth behind false walls. Each work has something ‘masked’ beneath that is to be revealed. For example, the aerosol gradients – a common technique used to paint graffiti – are placed beneath the composed chaos of rough textures. The works parallel the city – where layers and layers of paint are used to cover up graffiti – and stands as a documentation of art living outside of gallery spaces.
The more representational symbols – candy, folklorico ensembles, roses, and piñatas – are derived from my childhood and capture the spirit of celebration.
The name Strawberry Fields is an ode to the braceros and California farm workers who toil everyday to make a living. They are the backbones of our communities that work to feed our families.
As a kid, I was bullied and called names because of my Mexican background. One prominent slur was ‘strawberry picker’. As an adult, I reclaim those past verbal scars and use them to my advantage. Being called a ‘strawberry picker’ is not a put-down but instead a great honor. It is a true symbol of hard work and devotion, and I wear the comparison proudly.”
About the artist
Eduardo Viramontes is a designer, illustrator and lettering artist based in Southern California. Driven by the hum of Los Angeles’ artistic atmosphere, he creates and explores visual communication through experimental letterforms, brand development and editorial design. As an artist, he has dabbled in drawing, painting, photography and graphic design—but his true skills lie in cooking up a hearty breakfast plate and picking out the best places in the city for ramen.