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Brent Rollins

Brent Rollins ‘Fly Girls’

August 31st - September 23rd, 2007

Los Angeles, CA – The HVW8 Gallery hosts the much awaited homecoming of graphic artist, Brent Rollins, with the premiere of “Fly Girls: Original Edits + Remixes.” This unique series from the L.A. native mixes the sexiness of the female form with hip-hop informed aesthetics through one-of-a-kind graphic compositions and limited edition digital prints. Opening with a special reception on Friday, Aug. 31st, “Fly Girls”

is on view through Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007. The HVW8 Gallery is located by the Fairfax retail district, 661 N. Spaulding Avenue, Los Angeles, open Wednesday-Saturday, 1pm-6pm or by special appointment.

Beginning his professional career at 18, Rollins crafted his style by designing club flyers and logos for classic flicks such as “Mo Better Blues,” “Boyz N The Hood,” and “Dead Presidents.” From there, he art directed the scrappy underground favorite RapPages magazine from publisher Larry Flynt, produced signature graphic collages for albums by Spank Rock, Dilated Peoples, Mos Def/Talib Kweli, and Gang Starr, as well as the walls of the Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati, the New York Brecht Forum Gallery, and LA and Tokyo’s Undefeated stores. As a member of NYC’s ego trip collective, Rollins has co-authored two acclaimed books, ego trip’s Book of Rap Lists and ego trip’s Big Book of Racism! and co-produced/art directed their VH1 television programs. After earning a considerable reputation as a graphic artist, Rollins finally comes from out the shadows with “Fly Girls” to say “this is not for (fill in the brand name here). This is for me,” and by extension “this is for you.”

With “Fly Girls,” Rollins brings sexy back via digital collage, produced by a combination of aerosol paint, Xerox transfer and high-quality silk screening. Like a DJ sampling to create a new composition, Rollins’ compositions reflect today’s culture of disposable and recycled images, acknowledging what is done with them, rather than the actual subject matter, is what creates the excitement. “It’s not a new idea,” says Rollins, “but the fun is in working to make something uniquely, recognizably ‘mine’ for others to scrutinize, stand back, and connect with.”

As witnessed in “Fly Girls,” the balance between “flyness” and grace, and abstract and figurative is recognized by Rollins’ earlier collage heroes: Romare Bearden, Terry Gilliam; and the cut-n-pastiche techniques of the Bomb Squad, Dust Brothers, Prince Paul and the many other sampling shoguns that defined the soundtrack of his generation. When observing his technique, one can fashion Rollins as the abandoned kid of the 70’s and 80’s, reared by television who, when left to his own devices, created his own world by making due from whatever was available. The combination of Rollins’ experience and alacrity is seen through his attention to negative space, object shape, the interplay of figurative gesture and, in rap terms, “flow.”

The graphic art of “Fly Girls” consists of large diptych originals, presented in the classic, hip hop tradition by offering a complimentary B-side version, or more aptly, a “remix” print. As the second side extends the value of the recorded single, the limited edition print does so in this case. Each “remix” from the “Fly Girls”series is produced as a smaller, more affordable, but high-quality digital print, available in short run editions of ten.

Interview with Brent Rollins on Slam X Hype