Rainbow 6: Warsong is Los Angeles artist AARON NOBLE’s most recent body of paintings and drawings whose imagery simultaneously reflects the meditative calm and surging violence embodied in the exhibition’s title. The Rainbow group includes three subsets: a heavenly group in cool blue-grey tones (Relayer, Loophole, and Revelations Variant), an earthly group in warm oranges, greens, browns and rich blues (Warsong and Space Egg), and a dark pair of images called the Bosses (Sky Boss and Ground Boss), inspired by the kinds of powerful “bosses” or enemies encountered in the multiple levels of popular video games. The title Rainbow 6: Warsong, and the individual titles of the works refer to the complex world of Manga (a genre of Japanese comics) with titles like CANNON GOD EXAXXION: STAGE FIVE; PIXY JUNKET; ROSE HIP ZERO; ALIEN NINE: EMULATORS; STEEL ANGEL KURUMI; SILENT MOBIUS 4: THE NEXT WAVE; PLANET LADDER; GUNDAM SEED: DESTINY and WILD ADAPTER. The current exhibition also includes a new six-color etching and aquatint, Rainbow 6: Relayer, published by Wingate Studio.
Seemingly abstract, the works are better understood as forms of non-human figuration, or stills from an imaginary science-fiction anime, void of human presence. The visual techniques employed by commercial artists working in the science fiction genre are among Noble’s sources. Although these works do not imply any form of narrative, the artist maintains the loose threads of an alien epic of cosmic warfare, forming intricate relationships from a common pool of image fragments. Noble’s working method involves the mining and reconstruction of contemporary superheroes in search of an ecstatic core, a state transcending the human. The images are based on collages assembled from fragments of published superhero comics. The sordid action figures remixed as weightless metallic abstractions, the dark energies of adolescence purified and fulfilled in serene post-human ecstasy.