ROA Gifts A New Zoo to The City Of Los Angeles

Belgian-born Street Artist ROA is back in The US, this time on the West Coast. On the occasion of his debut solo show in Los Angeles presented by the indefatigable Andrew Hosner (of ThinkSpace) at the pop-up “New Puppy”, ROA has brought a modest zoo’s worth of wild friends.

Here are exclusive set-up pictures of ROA’s prep for the show.


ROA Image Courtesy of Think Space Gallery

ROA’s animal kingdom contains singular images, realistically depicted with influence from fairy tales, biology books and urban decay. Using discarded materials (sometimes in new constructions) as his canvas in the white box setting, the surfaces can be rusted sheets of metal, abandoned cabinetry doors, discarded window panes and wooden planks. The materials lend context, dimension and texture while summoning old animal biology plates from veterinarian school books.

When he works on the street ROA paints large, sometimes even monumental portraits of birds of all kinds, rodents, squirrels, hogs, skunks and myriad animals that are often not in the graces of their fellow earth inhabitants: The Humans. All cans, this dude keeps true to his graff roots even as he perfects a style that lands him in the street art catalog.


ROA Image Courtesy of Think Space Gallery

To the artist, these animals are survivors. “I think it is fascinating that certain animals really did not die out because of humanity but instead they use humanity to survive. I think it is interesting to see birds making nests in old buildings,” says ROA.


ROA Image Courtesy of Think Space Gallery

As he told us on an interview when he was in Brooklyn for his solo show at Factory Fresh this year in May, difficult surfaces are an inspiration.  “I like when a wall, or an area, or a building tells a little bit of a story. It is sometimes really boring to paint on a wall that is just one color. It is always better to start from something that is interesting,” he explains. He likes to create “lenticulars”, rigid surfaces, geometrically organized, that play with perception and angles to bring a level of wit and discovery. Mostly monochromatic, his palette adds occasional vivid reds and blues to highlight the inner working of subjects.


ROA Image Courtesy of Think Space Gallery

To experience ROA’s art, first hand, please visit the gallery if you are on the West Coast or go to the gallery site to see his new work. ROA’s show is currently on view at the pop-up shop space “New Puppy Gallery” located just outside downtown Los Angeles at 2808 Elm Street (at Cypress Ave).

If you are interested on reading more about ROA please click on the links below for our two part interview with him:

ROA Part I:

ROA Part II: