THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) will present a solo exhibition of Kelly “Risk” Graval focusing on new and popular works by the influential artist. The exhibition will cover more than 2,600 square feet of gallery space, encompassing mixed-media works, utilizing both traditional and non-traditional media. The exhibit opens on May 9, 2019, and is on view through September 4, 2019.
CMATO is located on the second floor of The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks and is open Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Friday through Sunday from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A $6 donation is suggested.
The museum was successful in persuading Graval (a local resident promoted by CMATO as “Thousand Oaks’ Most Infamous Artist”) to premiere new works for his community while also giving the artist significant latitude to use the museum space as a canvas to express his artistic mission. The artist personally refers to the exhibition as “For The Greater Good.”
A convergence of painting and Pop Art appropriation, the exhibition highlights the various dimensions of Risk’s multi-faceted career, tying together elements from his origins writing on freeway overpasses to his mixed-media and sculptural work. In his works, museum visitors will recognize iconography from Buddhism, Rock and Roll, advertising and popular cartoon characters. The exhibition features a striking 10-foot metal assemblage sculpture of a shark, inspired by artist Damien Hirst’s “Natural History”; atmospheric neon works that translate Risk’s signature bright palette into light; and works on metal canvases that recall the many nights the artist spent in the rail yards of Los Angeles County.
The exhibition will also give the public a chance to add to the works on display in the “Hold Space” room, referencing that graffiti in Los Angeles developed as a place-making and place-holding activity in highly contested spaces. Paint markers will be featured in a dedicated area, enabling visitors to create their own tag. In addition, graffiti glossary terms will be defined and biographical information about the artist and his extensive practice will be featured throughout the gallery.
“As a cultural institution, CMATO seeks to engage audiences with the most exciting and influential artists of our time. Risk is an artist whose work resonates with a wide audience both nationally and worldwide. We are excited to share his visual and cultural influence with the public through this exhibition,” said Tony Principe, Chairman, CMATO.
“The opportunity to curate my work and present it at my neighborhood museum is extremely rewarding,” said Graval. “CMATO fosters an environment that gives visitors a dynamic viewing experience and allows artists to push past the boundaries of a traditional museum. I’m excited to let people experience the diversity and possibilities of the art form in a completely accessible way.”
The exhibition is sponsored by the Valdez Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Raymond McCarthy and Terry Moerler, Westlake SUNRISE Rotary Club, City of Thousand Oaks and Mark Sands MDS Construction.
About the Artist:
With a career spanning 30 years, Risk is widely considered one of the most prolific and influential graffiti artists to date. One of the first writers in Southern California in the 1980s, he pioneered a color-fluid visual style, defined by cleanly executed lettering paired with graphic imagery and architectural lines. Risk built his fame painting Los Angeles freeway overpasses, signs, and billboards, often dubbed the “heavens.” His work has continuously evolved, integrating various visual and cultural influences, transcending the traditional vocabulary of both graffiti and abstract painting. His recent series of large murals exist as abstract color field paintings, eschewing the customary words and graphic symbols often associated with works of graffiti.
Risk has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, including Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco, Goldman Global in Miami, Corey Helford in Los Angeles, Track 16 and Taglialatella Galleries Toronto. In 2011, three of his installations were prominently featured in MoCA’s groundbreaking exhibition, Art in the Streets. Risk is the co-founder of Regime Contemporary Gallery, located in the Mayfair Hotel in downtown Los Angeles
The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) is a cultural institution dedicated to engaging, educating and uplifting the human spirit through the palette of art. Established in 2008, the museum showcases established and emerging contemporary artists, with a unique focus on participatory art. As part of its mission to connect people to creativity, ideas and to each other, CMATO features rotating temporary exhibitions, guest artist lectures and educational programs that foster discussion, participation and an appreciation for the visual arts. To learn more or to become a museum member, visit www.cmato.org.