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  • Source: The New York Times
  • Author: ANN BINLOT
  • Date: May 28, 2015

Luis Gispert’s Art of Gold

From left: "Hypeaholic II," 2015; "Gorillas In the Mist II," 2015. Credit Courtesy of the artist and OHWOW Gallery, Los Angeles

Luis Gispert had been in his Brooklyn studio, putting the finishing touches on his latest series, for weeks; then he was interrupted. His wife, Teresa Lopez-Castro, went into labor for more than 30 hours, before his daughter, Lucia Mar, was born on May 20. “My wife is so tough,” he says. Somehow, it didn’t stop Gispert – whose bling-inflected exhibition “Aqua Regia,” named for the only chemical that can dissolve gold, opens on May 29 at OHWOW Gallery in Los Angeles – from completing his series and shipping it out on time.

In the series, gold-plated chains wind around specially produced asphalt canvases made in Gispert’s studio. Gispert accidentally discovered the method for creating the pieces while he was working on a print at the Orlando-based print shop Flying Horse Editions. He became fascinated by the way the 300-ton press caused the chains to appear ribbonlike. “The idea also comes from when you walk down the street looking at asphalt,” Gispert says. He returned to his studio and came up with a secret process for making asphalt, and placed the chains on the large-scale slabs, using the chains as his paint and the slabs as his canvas. The project took him about a year to complete. Some of the abstract patterns are graceful and elegant, while others look like a series of electric currents.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to take in the pieces on the walls while sitting on benches, also of Gispert’s creation, consisting of wood panels standing on legs made from bronze casts of the thick gold chains. All the pieces are imbued, just as a series of cars he upholstered in fake luxury logos in 2011 were, with a narrative of excess and consumerism. “If you see this work and you know my older work, you’re going to get the other meanings,” he says, “but at the same time, they’re supposed to be beautiful and be amazing on a wall.”

“Aqua Regia” is on view May 29-June 27 at OHWOW Gallery, 937 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles,