Layering paint, paper and pumice as it grows into a new substance other than the canvas and medium it was made out of, artist Steve Javiel experiments with the materiality of surface in his industrial canvases. Much like the minimalist sculptor, Richard Serra, he is fascinated with an urban shipyard aesthetic whose nostalgia brings you home to the ports of the San Francisco bay area. While Serra may be more interested in the phenomenological relationship of person to ship, Javiel takes on the eye of the abstracted street artist; looking for the beauty in the tactile surface.

"Revolutionary" by artist Steve Javiel- Limited Edition Print Available through Patron of the Arts

A Los Angeles native before migrating north through the golden gates, (and recently traveling to New York for inspiration) Steve Javiel has an intimate relationship with the urban cityscape, in all its forms. His body of work reflects most closely the grittiness of the San Francisco area however Los Angeles and New York are sure to loom in the subconscious of the canvases.

The clean L.A. cool has been replaced by a more aged aesthetics; the markings of vandalism, corporate logos, or simple decay on cargo ship units, train walls and city streets inspiring the artist’s body of work and artistic signature, the industrialized surface. Javiel works hard at recreating the complex beauty of aged and layered surfaces, reconfiguring what many deem ‘ugly’ into the beautiful. He reflects on his process; “By painting my own representations of these surfaces, I form a connection to it and I am paying homage to it as if it were a wise elder.” It’s not simply the facade of the buildings or shipyards where the artist is interested, but the many layers that rise through its heritage.

In his newest show “Diamond in the Rough” released for Patron of the Arts online gallery, Javiel is presenting 14 original works of intimate small scale pieces and limited prints in which his latest artistic endeavors will be showcased. The canvases line up like the box cars Javiel finds inspiration from, a thick distance from the wall carrying a weight in their square confines. Experimenting with color, texture and abstraction the pieces reflect the tension of the San Francisco landscape, rich with industrial heritage dating back to the gold rush while still always retaining a contemporary edge.

-written by Emily Kramer for Warholian

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