Retna

Los Angeles / USA

Los Angeles born Marquis Lewis, or better known as Retna, is a street and studio artist who transformed from graffiti writing into working for the most prestigious and high-end clients from the entertainment and fashion industry. Lewis, who picked his moniker after listening to Wu Tang Clan lyrics because he found them to be timeless and dynamic, is most renown for constructing and incorporated a distinctive script into his artworks which are a mix of spray paint and paintbrush strokes. Retna’s works have been featured as part of the opening of URBAN NATION Museum in 2017. […]

Biography / Retna

Los Angeles born Marquis Lewis, or better known as Retna, is a street and studio artist who transformed from graffiti writing into working for the most prestigious and high-end clients from the entertainment and fashion industry. Lewis, who picked his moniker after listening to Wu Tang Clan lyrics because he found them to be timeless and dynamic, is most renown for constructing and incorporated a distinctive script into his artworks which are a mix of spray paint and paintbrush strokes. Retna’s works have been featured as part of the opening of URBAN NATION Museum in 2017.

Heavily influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphs, Black Letter and Native American traditional symbols as well as graffiti based styles of painting; self-taught Retna developed a script that is captivating and mystic at the same time. While it is based on many existing styles of symbols and letters, it is not meant to deliver a readable message; instead it is a product of a very meditative process of having a conversation with himself. Yet, the poem like structures, which he paints on walls and canvas, are meant to feel universal and for all people and cultures to find similarities in it, whether they can read it or not.

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