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Australian contemporary artist Reka returns to his hometown of Melbourne to present ‘SCARLET’, his first new solo show in 4 years. A brooding mix of Berlin nightlife, Japanese Shibari rope bondage and post-cubist figurative studies, this is one of his most mature exhibitions to date.

Influenced by his graffiti background and techniques, as well as elements of pop-culture, cartoon and illustration, Reka’s form has evolved into something greater than the sum of its parts. At times bacchanalian, his figures are playful, yet dark, tortured, but ecstatic.

His canvases offer up the entrancing curvatures of the human body, captured on canvas in the way the ropes ensnare his figures. Echoing the lines and textures of his paintings are a new set of sculptural pieces, with a captivating new exploration of stonework – layers of tactile granite and marble set on steel solidify Reka’s well-deserved place in the collections of institutions such as the National Gallery of Victoria and Berlin’s Urban Nation.

Referencing the words of Franz von Suppé, “Du bist verrückt, mein Kind, du musst nach Berlin” – You’re crazy, my child, you must go to Berlin – Reka explores the eroticism and hedonism of the German Capital. Blurring the lines between the luxury and underground lifestyles, he transports the viewer into a realm of techno music, sexual deviance and desire. Welcome to the world of SCARLET.

Reka’s “SCARLET” is open to the public Friday 23 March – Sunday 08 April at Backwoods Gallery, Collingwood, VIC, and is accompanied by a brand new print release, produced by Dangerfork.

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Roland Henry

About Roland Henry

Roland Henry is an international writer, curator and contemporary urban art specialist. Previously the Managing Editor of the independent arts magazine, Very Nearly Almost (VNA), he has developed close, personal relationships with artists, gallerists, and creatives worldwide and currently provides content for The Guardian US as well as numerous other publications. Roland is now based in Melbourne, Australia, where he heads up art agency, Studio Supply, in partnership with the former creative director of VNA, Greg Beer. The agency supplies curatorial and PR consultation services to a worldwide network of brands, artists, and creative professionals.