Mtendere Mandowa (pronounced “ten-de-ra”, Chichewa for “Peace”) or Teebs as he is better known, a producer, a painter, and contributing member of the Innocnts family comes to New Image Art for the first time, bringing to view his most captivating solo exhibition to date.
Following the release of his much anticipated sophomore album Estara, Mtendere began to redirect his creative focus into completing the body of work that would later be exhibited as “Overgrown”. His painting practice bares much relation to his music production: collaging, overlapping, and mixing imagery with painted gesture to create meditative and minimalist visual soundscapes. The work emanates a sense of organic appeal with feelings of warmth and movement similar to that of his music. Currently residing in the hilltop neighborhood of Mt. Washington in close proximity to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Highland Park, Mandowa continues to pull influence from his surroundings noting the changes of eastside Los Angeles communities as a point of creative interest. The paintings showcased in this body of work play upon a push and pull between the crowding of space and the pressence of negative space, similar to the surrounding east side communities. At times the works seem “overgrown” with organic shapes bending and folding atop one another while at other times the work remains sparse and refined. Utilizing a combination of work including large-scale mixed media paintings, over 100 smaller abstract studies on wood, delicate mixed media works on paper, and countless re-purposed vintage vinyl albums, “Overgrown” proves to be indeed a lush environment of creativity.
Mandowa’s “Overgrown” solo exhibition will be held at New Image Art located at 7920 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, California. The gallery will host and artist reception and public opening on Saturday, March 14th from 7pm till 10pm. Live music with vinyl selection by Richard Thompson via Tijuana with cold beers provided by our friends at Pabst Blue Ribbon.
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