LA-born artist RETNA (Marquis Duriel Lewis) continues to push the boundaries of graffiti with his signature, bold calligraphy motifs. Blackletter, Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Arabic alphabet are just a few typographical references that make up the artist’s unique script. He started his art career—albeit illegal—by painting over fashion advertisements at a young age. Since then, he has become a major influence in the industry spanning fashion collaborations with Nike, Louis Vuitton and Helmut Lang. Additionally, he created the album artwork for Justin Bieber’s Purpose and is featured in LA’s 2024 Olympic campaign. Whether it’s a large-scale public mural or an indoor sculpture, no artistic medium is impossible for the artist.
Now, RETNA is the subject of a brand new exhibit at the Maddox Gallery in London coinciding with Frieze Art Fair. Titled “Margraves,” the presentation features a slew of new paintings depicted below, alongside a stainless steel sculpture — a first for the artist. We sat down with RETNA to discuss the inspiration behind the showcase, artistic hurdles and future projects.