Raul Jara

The 155 Project held the inaugural exhibition from our Artist-in-Residence program for 2015. The recipient is Raul Jara. Mr. Jara is a twenty-eight year old street artist, born, raised, living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His first solo gallery presentation, When no one’s watching, is a collection of seven paintings executed during his residency.

The paintings use the language of graffiti freed from the encumbrances of ego and irony. This work does not mindlessly claim “I was here”, nor does it eliminate the tag merely to replace it with politics and agendas.

These pieces broadly split into separate lanes. The first are wild style compositions that utilize areas of intense compression and tension creating energies that ambiguously suck us in, spit us out – or both – as the city often does. The second utilizes abstracted texts atop layers of ever decreasing resolution. These hearken to the countless visual histories surrounding us, which are constantly in flux. Here stasis is achieved.

Above all, Raul Jara’s studio paintings show that there is relevance to the conventions of graf when processed through a true painter’s eye. The vitality of the urban experience is presented to us straight – with no grandiosity –
and no jokes.