Chad Attie: King of Kings | Artist Talk with Jon Leaver 👀

1024 N. Western Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90029
Feb 13, 3 PM - 3:30 PM — ends Feb 27, 2021
The paintings in this new series depict scenes set in a hypothetical future, in which modernist buildings are submerged in desolate, climate-ravaged landscapes.

Seen from the future, these utopian structures appear as the ruins of a forgotten culture. The landscapes slowly engulf their remnants, extinguishing the civilization they represent.

This body of work grapples with humanity’s culpability regarding climate change, exploring the fragility and impermanence of the world we take for granted. The paintings propose a future in which, due to inaction and indifference, our idealism is brought to ruin.

The title “King of Kings” is taken from Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” The work can be seen as a visual companion to the poem.

"Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”


Please join us for a live Instagram video with Chad Attie and Jon Leaver Saturday, 13th of February, 2021 from 3:00-3:30.

Jon Leaver is Professor of Art History at the University of LaVerne, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of X-TRA Contemporary Art Journal. His writing and research focuses on nineteenth-century art and criticism as well as the contemporary art of Los Angeles.