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RETNA: The Hallelujah World Tour, presented by Andy Valmorbida & Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld

retna the halleluha world tour

Last night was the opening of RETNA‘s The Hallelujah World Tour, his first NY solo presentation, the first of three global exhibitions sponsored by Bombardier Business Aircraft and VistaJet. For someone that has been following RETNA’s art for a long time, seeing him start in graffiti, being a part of the 7th Letter Crew/AWR/MSK and to see him at a posh NY gallery opening with paparazzi and celebrities in attendance, I felt really happy for him to see how far he had come.

retna the halleluha world tour

As I was leaving the show RETNA was coming in and he was directed to stand in front of the paparazzi wall. He smiled for the cameras and the flashes went off and then one photographer shouted:  “What’s your name?”  RETNA coyly smiled turned and pointed to the wall behind him and said:  “RETNA”.  Classic moment.  I wish I had caught it on film.  I did however, get snaps of his amazing pieces…

retna the halleluha world tour

The exhibit was powerful on its own, but entering through a long dark, barely lit hallway into the open gallery space filled with RETNA’s oversize pieces was breathtaking. All of the walls had paintings of various media hanging with backlighting that created a halo around them. All the paintings featured his signature hand influenced by a mix of Old English gang graffiti, Asian calligraphy, Incan & Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew and Arabic. The most impressive of the pieces (or my favorite) were the sculptures in the center of the gallery that spelled out RETNA in his style. I loved these because they showed his roots and had a work in progress quality with buckets of paint, brushes and bottles strewn about and with thick ropes hanging along side each one.

As part of this 3-exhibition project, RETNA will bring his work 50,000 feet above ground by creating a unique work on the tail of one of VistJet’s Global Express XRS aircraft – talk about a sweet ride! The project is set for completion by April 2011. The NY leg of The Hallelujah World Tour is open until February 21, 2011. If you are in the area you must see this show. I wish I could see the next 2 parts but something tells me they will be in far off locales.

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