Riverside City College presents “Recent Devotional Paintings,” an exclusive exhibit by the talented New Zealand native Matthew Couper. A self-proclaimed “journeyman,” Couper was making art for over a decade before settling in Las Vegas in 2010. Since making the move across the globe, Couper has been consistently showing exhibits full of exciting and thought-provoking imagery, and “Recent Devotional Paintings” is no exception. Curated by John Seed, this exhibit is an ode to Spanish Colonial paintings, which proves to be the main influence behind Couper’s artwork. His pieces on display are a current interpretation of the political and religious clashes of the Spanish renaissance that used canvases to tell narratives throughout time. Couper uses layers to build his paintings, all while being mindful of the traditional symbolism, colors and objects that represent the Spanish Colonial era. The exciting twist is that he uses traditional symbols to represent current narratives, an original technique that Couper has mastered. The paintings are primarily oil on canvas with the exhibit featuring “ex-voto” paintings on metal—ex-voto paintings were primarily used to give thanks or seek help from religious saints, and they were often found in churches and chapels. Mixing traditional symbols with current narratives, and his bold use of oil paint and metals, “Recent Devotional Paintings” is a true testimony to its title: “A Telling of Gratitude in the Modern World.” (Aida Solomon)
Riverside City College Art Gallery, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, (951) 222-8358; academic.rcc.edu/art/exhibitions.jsp.