“The text utilized in this print is RETNA’S fascination with word play. Its a takes on RETNA’S name where he purposely took out the “I” from the correct spelling RETINA. “Say My Name, So You Can See Me” is basically putting the “I” back in his name. The third eye. The “I” in our eye.” Retna
Los Angeles-based artist RETNA accesses spaces between text-based imagery and abstract emotive states with his mysterious lines of verse. Each block of text is a sophisticated system of hieroglyphs, calligraphy and illuminated script. With influences from Arabic, Egyptian, Hebrew, Anglo-Saxon (or Old English) and Native American typographies, RETNA’s distinctive language communicates a personal form of poetry. RETNA’s messages are masked in ciphers: words and meanings that are never immediately revealed, nor capable of being accurately translated. He employs ancient totemic symbologies as a baseline, overlaid with beats from the urban jungle (sourced from his background in Los Angeles, born from Pipil – western indigenous El Salvadorian – Cherokee, Spaniard, and African-American bloodlines. These diverse subcultures are channeled into his work, often accompanied (either in the studio or on the street) by a stream of ambient or musical sounds. It is this multi-sensory experience that is brushed onto the surface for RETNA: a synthesis of auditory and visual content, spontaneously manifested.