(Los Angeles) – Thinkspace is pleased to present Matador, featuring new paintings, prints and charcoal works by Brian M. Viveros. This highly anticipated solo exhibition, opening November 7, is the first comprehensive presentation of all new work by the artist in years, and will feature some of Viveros’ largest and most accomplished paintings to date. The epic gallery takeover will include a site-specific installation, props and source materials from the artist’s studio, a new large-format sculpt, created in collaboration with Pretty In Plastic, and the release of a 216-page full color art book, the artist’s first, with essays, interviews and behind-the-scenes. Inspired by the tempestuous Spanish tradition of bullfighting, Matador takes Viveros’ iconic Dirtyland to blazing new heights and bloody new recesses.
Known for his phenomenally detailed and hyperrealistic paintings, Viveros’ world is a complete universe unto itself. The “Dirtyland,” well-known by Viveros fans and collectors, plays host to a long cast of recurring female characters; part vixen, part superhero and all bad-ass. These unapologetic survivors, often bloodied and bandaged, smoking and defiant, have the battle scars to boast their warrior worth. Long fascinated by the figure of the Matador and its implicit theme of conquest and survival, Viveros reinterprets the Spanish tradition through the lens of an uncompromising feminine imaginary. The artist’s well-known “bad-girls” emerge victorious in Matador, embodying the power, passion and poetry of the bloody sport.
Viveros has pushed his execution of detail to new extremes. Working with a personal collection of historical props, like a hand-embellished bullfighter’s jacket from the 1940’s and his signature collection of helmets and head gear, the new work incorporates highly detailed, ornate patterns from Spanish textiles and objects. Viveros includes historical motifs from this cruel, and yet passionate, spectacle of violence; bullfighting pits man, or in this case woman, against the brute force of nature in a highly ritualized and symbolic dance of death, an intense aesthetic tradition that resonates clearly with the artist’s work. Viveros harnesses this raw energy in new paintings that ooze carnal ferocity and physical presence. The diversity of the color palette is also new for Viveros in Matador, as he incorporates stark tonal contrasts between warm and cool hues, crimson reds, pastels and brilliant golds, to bring minute textural details to life.
Matador will include some of Viveros’ largest and most complex works to date, including his largest-ever signature EVILLAST boxing girl and BULL-FIGHT-HER matador paintings. The exhibition will also include charcoal renderings in a looser and gesturally energetic new series, and the unveiling of Bullheaded, a three-dimensional sculpt created in collaboration with LA’s own Pretty In Plastic. The exciting new piece brings a wall-mounted, bull-horned Viveros bad- girl to sculptural life, incorporating signature elements from the artist’s iconic paintings. An exhibition of several firsts, Matador launches an unprecedented new era of the Dirtyland.