Growing up in the South Bronx in the 1980s, Los Angeles-based street and contemporary artist Dan Monteavaro (a.k.a. Moncho 1929) was inspired by the urban art cropping up all around him. This street art/graffiti influence, is on full view in the artist’s latest body of work, now on view at Broken Spanish, the resurrection of Chef Ray Garcia’s critically-claimed LA restaurant at NeueHouse Hollywood.
The title of Monteavaro’s work, Chimera, is a reference to Greek mythology, calling up an imaginary fire-breathing female monster comprised of incongruous animal parts that terrorized the city of Lycia. Chimera also refers to an illusion or fabrication of the mind. Monteavaro builds on both interpretations to create hybrid creatures on canvas that manifest before our eyes.
The juxtaposition of narratives and the notion of duality that exists between these two visual markers stimulates a new conversation, vastly distinctive from what one image would carry alone. Even the stark contrast between the two subjects seems to bring a sense of balance, neither overpowering the other and almost lacking in complexity if taken exclusively.
“This exploration carries through the entire series of works, each of which has its own story and place. Seen together, the series becomes a room full of ideas communicating independently and together at the same time. ”
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