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At first glance, the work of the artist Retna looks like an undiscovered ancient script: a series of hypnotic symbols—complex, beautiful and captivating. But Retna has created an original alphabet, fusing together influences from ancient Incan and Egyptian hieroglyphics, Arabic, Hebrew, Asian calligraphy, and graffiti. Each piece carries meaning, conveying an event or dialogue that the artist experienced.
Retna has transformed from a street artist to a break-out star in the contemporary art world. He has garnered attention from Usher, an R&B artist, who commissioned the artist to create a portrait of Marvin Gaye, and MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who wrote in the September 2010 issue of Juxtapoz “one of the most exciting exhibitions... this year, anywhere, was Retna's exhibition at New Image Art.” In the spring of 2011, MOCA featured Retna's work in the “Art in the Streets” exhibit.
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