Provenance Art Gallery, located at Shangri-La Hotel, the Fort, recently unveiled its latest exhibition, “Under the Influence.” Alongside Laroza’s exhibit, the gallery also showcases that of fellow local artist Edu Perreras, entitled “Iconic Irreverence.”
Side-by-side, the pieces of the two artists all seem to work in close tandem with one another.
Laroza’s use of influential personalities and Perreras’ use of well-known classical artworks both invoke a sense of familiarity for their the viewers. Likewise, both artists have managed to elevate their seemingly simplistic subject matter using their respective styles and techniques, provoking viewers to reflect on the deeper implications that straddle each artwork.
“Under the Influence” features Laroza’s own, hyper-realistic renditions of influential figures from multiple points in history and walks of life.
These include the likes of Salvador Dali, Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Laroza’s works gain the quality of being hyper-realistic from the elaborate concepts behind them.
In particular, “Under the Influence” aims to portray the oftentimes overtly simplistic legacies held by historic household names. Laroza does this by depicting them as “trapped in their own images, captured by how the public sees them.”
Andy Warhol, for instance, is represented by his iconic white-haired, black turtleneck look.
This is then layered with an image of a Campbell’s soup can — reminiscent of one of Warhol’s most famous pieces and usually the very first thing that most people would associate with him. Beyond this artwork and a few others that come to mind, however, it is easy to forget Warhol’s true legacy as a pioneer of pop art and indubitably one of the most influential figures in the sphere of contemporary art in general.
Another interesting portrayal of Laroza’s is that of John Lennon.
Although Lennon will always be a renowned songwriter and guitarist for one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, it’s hard not to remember him first as the Beatles member who was assassinated at his New York City residence at 40 years of age. Lazaro illustrates this through the clever placement of a Charter Arms .38-caliber pistol—the same kind Lennon was shot with.
Also featured in the piece is Yoko Ono, the woman with which Lennon shared a controversial love life, and also a topic of worldwide speculation, as she is believed to have been a major factor in The Beatles’ ultimate split. The pistol and Ono are both positioned atop of an old-fashioned phonograph record, which may symbolize the idea that Lennon may oftentimes be remembered first for the controversies surrounding him, rather for than his timeless musical creations.
More recently, Laroza also collaborated with Joel Chavez on “Portraits of the Almost Human,” which features some of the world’s most ruthless dictators.
“Under the Influence” is at Provenance Art Gallery until July 1. For more information, call 0917.825.2041 or 946.3236.