Robert Nava’s striking, pared-down figurations generate their own irreverent, mythical visual language. The Indiana-born, Brooklyn-based artist uses a mix of spray paint, acrylics, and grease pencil to create a lexicon of creatures real and imagined, including sharks, angels, clowns, and more. Nava, who graduated with an MFA in painting from Yale in 2011, has exhibited widely in the intervening years: He has enjoyed solo shows in New York, Brussels, Los Angeles, and Copenhagen. His work also belongs in the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. Nava’s purposeful chaos and formal simplicity place his work in a number of iconic lineages, from cave paintings to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s gestural exuberance.
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