Ravi Zupa: If someone asks, this is where I’ll be

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Harman Projects, NYC // January 13, 2024 – February 03, 2024

January 09, 2024 | in Collage

Harman Projects is thrilled to present If someone asks, this is where I’ll be, a solo exhibition of new work by multidisciplinary artist Ravi Zupa. Through cultural and visual mélange in arduously hand-processed work, the Denver-based artist considers how we form and become intimate with our chosen families. Lifting images from various sources, including Japanese ukiyo-e samurai to Aztec codices, 1970s comic books to Basquiat, European crests to the face of a friendly feral cat named Brenda, this new series of works prompts us to locate elements and expressions of ourselves in others, no matter how contradictory.

While some of Zupa’s pieces appear collage-like, the artist’s process always begins with a piece of paper and a pencil. Skillfully sketching his culturally diverse subjects, the artist takes stock of their unique forms and styles. These isolated images are then transformed into prints using various techniques, ranging from screen prints to intaglio and offset lithography. Zupa subsequently tears them apart, skillfully recombining the scraps onto wooden canvases using matte medium. Using a technique that evokes the methods of artists like Mimo Rotella, Robert Rauschenberg, and Shepard Fairey, Zupa establishes himself in this lineage of artistic disruptors, showing how visual and material histories are as malleable as his compositions.

Inspired by a lyric from the Talking Heads often-covered love song “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)”, the exhibition’s title is an ode to familial ties forged through relationships rather than those determined by birth. Instead of adhering to the conventional belief that blood ties prevail over friendships, Zupa challenges this notion, urging viewers to reconsider social hierarchies of their close bonds. By interweaving images from seemingly unrelated cultures, aesthetics, and time periods, Zupa opens this motley crew of icons to a language of unfamiliar love. So if someone asks, where might we locate Zupa and his work? In a comfortable space of limbo with his friends—after all, blood is mostly water.

If someone asks, this is where I’ll be opens on Saturday, January 13th, at 54 Ludlow Street in New York City, and will be on view through February 3rd.

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