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7920 Santa Monica Boulevard
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Teebs - Overgrown


 

MTENDERE "TEEBS" MANDOWA

OVERGROWN

14 Mar 2015 to 04 Apr 2015

 

 
 
 
 
 

Mtendere Mandowa (pronounced “ten-de-ra”, Chichewa for “Peace”) or Teebs as he is better known, a producer, a painter, and contributing member of the noted LA based Brainfeeder record label comes to New Image Art for the first time, bringing to view his most captivating solo exhibition to date.

Born in the Bronx, New York with Malawi and Barbados origins, Mandowa bounced around the East Coast living in both Georgia and Connecticut before finally landing in the affable LA suburb of Chino Hills. It was here that he began to attune his sonic and visual languages in the solitary of his mother’s two car garage. Teebs’ notoriety steadily grew as his affiliations with the respected My Hollow Drum collective and online radio station Dublab helped to expand his network and following. In 2008, he was invited to Barcelona, Spain and selected to participate the annual Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA). His growth and experience there prompted fellow RBMA alum Flying Lotus to seek out Mandowa and within months Teebs was living and working in close proximity of both Flying Lotus and fellow LA beatmaker Samiyam. Since this time Teebs, has toured the globe and released ‘Ardour’ and ‘Estara’, two full-length albums under the Brainfeeder label with much success and acclaim.

Following the release of his much anticipated sophomore album Estara, Mtendere began to redirect his creative focus into completing the body of work that would later be exhibited as “Overgrown”. His painting practice bares much relation to his music production: collaging, overlapping, and mixing imagery with painted gesture to create meditative and minimalist visual soundscapes. The work emanates a sense of organic appeal with feelings of warmth and movement similar to that of his music. Currently residing in the hilltop neighborhood of Mt. Washington in close proximity to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Highland Park, Mandowa continues to pull influence from his surroundings noting the changes of eastside Los Angeles communities as a point of creative interest. The paintings showcased in this body of work play upon a push and pull between the crowding of space and the pressence of negative space, similar to the surrounding east side communities. At times the works seem “overgrown” with organic shapes bending and folding atop one another while at other times the work remains sparse and refined. Utilizing a combination of work including large-scale mixed media paintings, over 100 smaller abstract studies on wood, delicate mixed media works on paper, and countless re-purposed vintage vinyl albums, “Overgrown” proves to be indeed a lush environment of creativity.