Dan Colen’s text paintings, such as Rama Lama Ding Dong, are a practical response to his time consuming realist work. Quickly scrawled in spray paint over plywood boards which are built up with sanded layers of moulding base and acrylic, they retain a tension between immediacy of expression and perfection of surface. Spelling out song lyrics, random thoughts, or absurd slogans Colen’s texts create a form of urban poetry, conjuring effete images through word association and bereft aesthetics. Often times Colen hand-renders these works, creating the effect of aerosol through painstaking brush technique.

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