As part of a partnership with VistaJet & Bombardier Aerospace, 31 year old Los Angeles street artist RETNA has hand-painted a unique artwork on the tail of a VistaJet Global Express XRS as part of his Hallelujah World Tour.
Street Artist RETNA Paints A $60 Million Jet
This $60,000,000 luxury aircraft will be the star of VistaJet’s fleet of 31 private jets. Drawing from a wide array of influences including the Old English style of gang graffiti writings, Asian calligraphy, Incan & Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew and Arabic, RETNA’s vision manifests as an international visual language all his own.
At EBACE 2011, the premier aviation show in Geneva, May 17 – 19, RETNA will officially launch his artistic vocabulary over 50,000 feet above ground.
VistaJet and RETNA is a new partnership that begun with VistaJet’s and Bombardier’s sponsorship of RETNA’s “Hallelujah World Tour,” presented by Andy Valmorbida and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, which launched in New York in February and will continue throughout the year in cities including London and Hong Kong.
Retna, whose real name is Marquis Lewis, comes from a graffiti background. The nom de plume – derived from a Raekwon song – was originally given to a friend. “I gave him a sketch, and he went and battled some dude and he lost,” Retna said previously in an interview with Upper Playground. “He wasn’t even supposed to battle anyone anyway with my sketch that I gave him. And on top of that he lost, so that really pissed me off, so I took the name back.”
Over the past few years, Retna has been known less for his graffiti pieces than a unique written language derived from various ancient scripts.
“It draws on Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Mayan glyphs, as well as Mexican and pre-Columbian heritage,” Jeffrey Deitch, director of MoCA in Los Angeles, said. “He filters those traditions through the tradition of tagging and graffiti that has been seen in Los Angeles since the 1970s. Within these traditions, he has come up with something entirely his own.”
The New York exhibition, The Hallelujah World Tour (Venice and London are the two other stops) is Retna’s biggest show to date.