UTA Artist Space presents Arcmanoro Niles’ first solo show on the West Coast, titled I Guess By Now I’m Supposed To Be A Man: I’m Just Trying To Leave Behind Yesterday.
In the central gallery space, Niles debuts a series of seven large-scale paintings that explore personal journeys at various stages of life. Underscoring how our relationships and experiences shift our attitude over the course of our lifetime, the series opens with a child absorbed in the workings of a model train set and ends with an elderly man in a doctor’s office, hands clasped as he weighs the heavy notion of mortality.
Niles takes us room-by-room through his highly saturated interiors to show figures in states of deep introspection: a young adult is slumped against a bathtub; a couple is in the intimate surroundings of their bedroom; and a middle-aged man contemplatively faces his reflection in a mirror. Some seem aware of our presence and meet our gaze with a challenging stare, while some appear more vulnerable with heads bowed or turned away. Each painting is disrupted by Niles’s signature “seekers”—small, outlined creatures representing an impulsive force influencing his characters—that break Niles’s traditional portraiture compositions and add to the otherworldly feel.
Niles additionally presents a series of new small-scale portraits depicting friends and family members, and a number of paintings he has made over the past three years. While his other paintings offer cinematic narratives, often rendered to human scale, these intimate portraits allow a closer examination of his subjects as individuals.
On view until March 14 at UTA Artist Space, 403 Foothill Rd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210