Ned Vena

Boston, MA, USA, 1982
. Lives and works in New York, NY, USA

Untitled, 2008

Acrylic and rubber on linen mounted on board
55.38 X 86.97 in

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Ned Vena’s work combines digital technology, industrial production, graffiti and artisanal work in his processes, through which he explores questions of form and the concept of art. Vena was trained in street art and commercial painting, which is why he prefers to use industrial materials such as those that are used in public space, rather than paints made specifically for artistic purposes.

The artist’s work reveals clear influences from Op Art, minimalism and American abstractionism. Vena has said that his favorite piece is Frank Stella’s Die Fahne Hoch (1959), which inspired him to create Untitled. Stella’s work is a very important point of reference for Vena’s work, for he always comes back to it in his quest to explore different materials with which to make his paintings.

Vena’s production process reconciles unique manual work with industrialized serial production. For example, in Untitled he made a stencil on a plotter for vinyl, a process often used to make commercial signs; then he manually applied the rubber paint with a spray painter, thus allowing the stencil to leave its mark on the canvas and accepting the mistakes that inevitably result from this way of working.