Doze Green at Jonathan Levine Gallery

Doze Green


Boriken Detail by Doze Green (courtesy Jonathan Levine Gallery)

Boriken Detail by Doze Green (courtesy Jonathan Levine Gallery)

Opening reception – Saturday, October 18th 7pm-9pm

Jonathan Levine Gallery

October 18, 2008 through November 15, 2008

NEW YORK, NY (September 30, 2008) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce N.O.O.N., a solo exhibition of new works by Doze Green. The artist returns for his second solo show at the gallery, having created a new series of original charcoal drawings and mixed media paintings on canvas and wood panel. Using a variety of materials such as ink, gouache, metallic pigments, and collage, Doze Green speaks in a creative voice from the collective consciousness, applying a symbolist approach to metaphysical concepts. Often compared to Basquiat, his urban background and involvement in the early hip-hop graffiti movement of NYC in the late 70’s, early 80’s, led him to transition from creating art in the streets and subways into the gallery setting.

In N.O.O.N., Doze Green’s signature style of figurative abstraction and use of letterforms remain prominent, yet the organic cubist quality of his images has evolved. The high-contrast fluid line work characteristic of earlier paintings is now rendered in a fuller, more tonal palette, complemented by the introduction of an element not seen in his work previously—layers of collaged imagery. The artist’s genealogy inspires many of the themes he explores, his aesthetic influences include a mixture of ancient civilizations and indigenous cultures, including his own Afro-Caribbean roots. His totem-like human and animal figures are conceptually based on various polytheistic deities. These divinities represent sentinels, the guardians of universal truths. Immortal warriors warning mankind of dangers society has manifested, looming on the horizon and threatening to destroy us.

The show title, N.O.O.N., stands for No One Observes Nibiru. This references the planet X prophecy of a cataclysmic cosmic shift occurring in the year 2012, causing dramatic effects to life on earth. Also a prominent year in the Mayan and Hopi calendars, 2012 marks the end of our current solar cycle, signifying transition into a new age. Inspired by these theories, there is a transitional quality to the artwork. Movement, migration and transformation of form combine to form enigmatically kinetic narratives. Portals and beams of energy, layered over collaged media clippings, surround Green’s figures which echo social diaspora of the past, yet also seem to be preparing for a futuristic voyage of sorts—a survivalist evacuation plan for the great escape from doomsday.

A New York City native, Doze Green began painting the streets and bombing subways in 1974. He joined the infamous Rock Steady Crew in 1977, as one of the original members during the birth of hip-hop, b-boy break dancing and graffiti writing culture. The Crew danced at galleries and art exhibitions in Soho and the Lower East Side throughout the early 80s. They were an integral part of New York City’s developing underground scene. Graffiti and later forms of street art have since spread into what has become very much a global movement, and Doze Green has evolved into a well-respected fine artist, whose work can be found in public and private collections, worldwide.