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Kristopher Raos at As Is


Kristopher Raos’ “Open Late/ ‘7 Days a Week’” on view at As Is is a concise presentation of paintings that pull a visual language from the streets of LA into the sphere of minimal hard-edge paintings. “Untitled (99 cents Y’Not)” could be a riff on Ellsworth Kelly’s green and blue geometric canvases, save for the red 99¢ in the center of the composition. In the lower left corner, a barely visible alligator cartoon says  “Y’Not” in a speech bubble. In this way, Raos filters an array of logos and street signage with an art historical aesthetic to create composite compositions that build a unique visual symbology.

In several works, the artist repeats a cheery starburst shape that reads “Open 7 Days.” The symbol abstracts to the point of illegibility in “Untitled (Da Hustle, 7 Days a Week)” and reveals a subtle raised smiley face on the painting’s surface. The exhibition pokes fun at promotional optimism, mixing it with a grittier reality while elevating the symbols of the street to clean canvases and precise lines.

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Photo: Kristopher Raos, “Open Late/‘7 Days a Week,’” (installation view) (2021). Image courtesy of the artist and As Is Gallery. Photo: Joshua White.