An Exhibition of Works by Peter Greco Featuring a Collection of the Manuscript Leaves of Gonza Spalato
Written by Julie Faith
Among the Nahuan peoples the word “Tolteca” was synonymous with artist, artisan or wise man. Toltec have been known throughout southern Mexico as “women and men of knowledge” for many centuries. Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or a race, but in fact, the Toltec were scientists, warriors, and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones. (crystalinks)
In Divine Write, now showing at LosJoCos through October 16th, Peter Greco channels the mystical essence of the Toltec. Well known in the LA street scene for his distinctive murals, his lettering style is immediately recognizable on walls and in galleries all over the city. Marrying an extensive background in graphic design with a detailed knowledge of mythical languages, ancient alphabets, and traditional hand-lettering, Peter Greco’s Divine Write leaves absolutely no doubt that he is in fact the “Man of Knowledge” when it comes to typography inspired design.
I found the artist himself to be accessible, friendly, and forthcoming. He spoke openly with me and other guests about his work including the origins of several of his original paintings on display, what he learned painting the two magnificent large-scale paper scrolls on display, and what it was like to devise an original alphabet. He described his plans for a graphic novel inspired by the Collection of the Manuscript Leaves of Gonza Spalato. Which, according to the materials on display, had been “hidden, feared and forgotten for centuries, these pages reconstruct and illustrate the life and thought of this previously unknown figure. That which emerges a legendary tale of peril and transformation expressed through symbolism, calligraphy and art. Beyond all conventional frames of reference, the content of this collection penetrates the heart of the mysteries of our being.”
To say I was captivated from the moment I arrived at the opening reception would be a gross understatement. I was immediately mindful that I was viewing the work of a master. A Toltec. The calibre of work in this show is exceptional. Exquisite color palettes, deliberate paint strokes, meticulously chosen words and phrases concealed within metaphysical symbols all encourage the viewer to look for deeper meaning. There is a lot to look at and every piece is infused with mystery and significance. From the zines, to the paintings, to Greco’s hand-embellished sport coat, to the manuscript; subliminal messages are everywhere.
Peter Greco’s Divine Write is a gorgeous, thoughtful, precise, spectacular show. You’ve only got one more weekend to view it in all it’s splendor. The exhibit continues at Losjocos through Sunday, October 16. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, October 8, 9 and 15, 16 from 2-7pm and by appointment. Please call 213-221-7744 to set weekday appointments if desired.
725 Kohler Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021
OCTOBER 1 – 16, 2016, OPENING RECEPTION: October 1, 2016 7-10pm