click to enlarge Abstract Remix
Phillip Danner
“Adapt” by Rhiana Deck

The top floor of Oklahoma Contemporary is currently home to a quad of fresh murals inspired by abstract expressionist art created just for the exhibit.

Abstract Remix continues through Jan. 24, 2022.

“By placing these typically public works indoors, the exhibition invites the public to a visual conversation on how Oklahoma Contemporary is integrated within the larger panorama of Oklahoma City’s cultural and artistic growth,” Oklahoma Contemporary’s site states.

click to enlarge Abstract Remix
Phillip Danner
“Fruit Forward with Nice Dancey Dance” Kalee Jones W.

Rhiana Deck, Codak Smith, Kalee Jones W., and May Yang are the artists behind the murals.

Smith and Yang are both Tulsa residents, with local murals on display there, while Jones and Deck are both in Oklahoma City and recently completed outdoor murals at the first Sunny Dayz Mural Festival in August.

Deck’s mural for Abstract Remix is named “Adapt.” Its placard reads: “Rhiana Deck deals with perspective and flowing lines to create energetic compositions. Her freestyle approach to mural design enables her to better express the emotional context in which she paints. Her newest work speaks to the restless nature of communities in flux — a commentary on how collaboration contributes towards resilience.”

And while Deck said she prefers collaborative pieces, she certainly showed that resilience in getting the work completed.

“Long story short, they didn’t get the panels until a week and a half before the show,” Deck said. “I wasn’t able to actually start painting on the panels until five days before the show, and they were actively priming the panels while I was painting on them. And it’s funny because the name of the piece that I did is called ‘Adapt,’ because I feel like people right now, we’re having to adapt hardcore right now.”

She was working on panels that were four feet by eight feet, using acrylic and aerosol spray paint, so she had to work mostly outside to get them completed, which also provided challenges.

“I was painting on them separately, so it wasn’t like I was painting on them all at once so I could eye them all together, I was painting on two or three at a time. And every day when I would come in at nine o’clock in the morning, they would be in a different spot, and not on purpose ... But I had fun and that kind of went along with the name of it. The paint was still wet. Two hours until the show I was still painting,” Deck laughed.

Also on display in the exhibit is a timelapse video of the artists creating the works.

“I was there every day from the morning until way after everybody left. I was there past one o’clock in the morning and I didn’t mind. I was having a great time. It was badass. I had my own key to Oklahoma Contemporary and I could just walk around, walk through all the rooms,” she said.

For more information about Abstract Remix, visit oklahomacontemporary.org.

  • or