For Les Biller’s second show at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, lonesome Los Angeles cityscape paintings are juxtaposed with narrative paintings composed from mythology, reality and fantasy.
Rich and decadent colors tell stories of the subjects in the narrative paintings, opening with still lifes in beautiful spaces. A bust of Emperor Nero causes his wife pregnant wife Poppaea to be aghast as a nearby figure stands checking her smartphone. While in another large painting, beautiful objects obscure the view of a serene body of water with monkeys swinging jubilantly overhead. These compositions are unique and humorous, at times enigmatic.
If the narrative paintings are an exercise of cognition, then the cityscapes are of the emotions. Void of people, the yearning cityscapes depict views of Los Angeles that only a sensitive wanderer would notice - the moment right before the beach appears, the tender stillness on the side of the road looking through an underpass, the glory of a sunset on a hillside peering over the vast wonder of the L.A. sprawl, or the awe of proud skyscrapers from beyond the barbed wire of South L.A.