Da Metrov‘s paintings are born out of the New York punk scene of the 1970’s yet their genesis lies in an art historical path that begins with Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th Century and continues up to the present day with the work of painters such as Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, Gregory Gillespie, Frank Stella, Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jim Nutt. His work playing in a magic realist world that bridges Urban Art, Primitivism, Classicism and Surrealism.
What’s striking about Metrov’s artistic career is the sheer energy and polymathic quality of it. Originally a graphic designer and illustrator in the 1970’s he moved into the film business; writing screenplays and novels, directing and producing art videos while continuing to paint and exhibit his pictures. By the end of the 1970’s he moved back to his native California and threw himself into film.
By the 1990’s he was running a multimedia business doing web design, graphic design, photography, and videography all the time returning to his first love, drawing and painting,his new work bringing his extensive experience to life on the canvas, his pictures a complex commingling of techniques and processes arrived at through 50 years of playing, learning, experimenting, failing and trying again. It’s this free form attitude, this desire to create, this need to express himself that propels him forward, his paintings energetic and vigorous, the portraits talking us deep into the interior of the soul and reinventing a genre that goes back through the mists of time to the first marking on a cave wall. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
In my experience, a true artist is a juggling instrument, his art a mosh of intellect, emotion, and intuition. No matter what brush I use, my work will always derive from current technology (intellect), my compulsion to engage in the Great Conversation of Contemporary Art (emotion), and the status of my own personal growth (intuition). My job is to blend all that…to make something that provides me and my audience with clues to becoming more highly evolved Humans.
Metrov is one of the few artists I’ve come across that writes a great deal about his work and processes so if you want to read more check out his website. He’s a fascinating character.