Animazing Gallery presents an exhibition by Ralph Bakshi titled The Streets. This bold series of mixed-media construction/paintings was inspired by the gritty and colorful neighborhoods of Bakshi’s youth in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Throughout an artistic career spanning more than half a century, Ralph Bakshi’s secret passion has always been fine art. Although he has become a renowned film director, Bakshi has remained a sedulously dedicated self-taught painter, and this body of work is as sophisticated as his films are outrageous. The Artist has created multi-media pieces that are emotionally layered works, and clearly a departure from his past figurative works. Bakshi builds up his surfaces with elements of wood, nails, and other found objects. The artist deconstructs the sculptural elements at some point during the process, and then uses the ravaged sculpture as a canvas, continuing to paint and repaint the accumulating textures, going deeper and deeper into what he thinks he sees. In this ongoing process of building up and taking away, Ralph transforms his reality into sculptured abstraction. Inspired by every single memory of his life in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Artist produces work that is as gritty, colorful, and dynamic as New York. Bakshi’s paintings are derived from a lifetime of loving the artistic peeling of the paint on old Brownsville walls; the play of sunlight on their surfaces that changed them every few minutes. These paintings are the closest thing to realism that Ralph can imagine, although they appear to be abstract.