I felt like the oldest person in the room. I also felt extremely untalented, surrounded by artists of impressive caliber who were barely old enough to buy beer. I’m talking about Friday’s Righchus Renaissance, hosted by Eye Level Art at their Warehouse Gallery on Heriot Street. The Warehouse Gallery is high up on the far reaches of the peninsula, and you’d miss it if you didn’t know it was there. However, it was an ideal location for the grand, colorful paintings of 22-year-old Fletcher 3 (a.k.a. Fletcher Williams III), who modestly stole the show.
Seemingly, this young artist does not paint small portraits. His portraits were each at least three feet high, two feet wide, with colors that echoed as loud as the bass beats from hip-hop artist and event coordinator, Righchus (a.k.a. Matthew Bostick). On display were different eras of Fletcher 3’s artistic career. Half the murals were on the abstract side, making use of bold hues and strong lines. The more recent — and in one case, brand new — pieces featured realistic subjects, twisted into Dali-esque contortions and scenarios. I had a chance to talk to Fletcher 3’s mom, and she told me that all his art means something; he just won’t tell her what.
Other artists at the Righchus Renaissance included Dalia Dalili of Mock Couture, whose Nintendo-themed jewelry took me back to the days of Super Mario Brothers. There were the Brwn Drby crew, screening T-shirts for the crowd. Then, of course, there was the music. DJs Joeski and John Kutter did a good job of warming up the crowd. Spoken word artist Rasheen Maliek (a.k.a. RaRa) carried the frenzy forth. Finally, Righchus made his way on stage, with a distinctly Rage Against the Machine meets Jay-Z feel, and got the crowd moving.
The event outgrew its planned space at 103 Spring at the last minute, which turned out to be fortuitous for the event; the bareness of the warehouse walls made Fletcher 3’s art pop, and you could practically see the music pumping through the high ceilings and melding with the emotive faces and bold backdrops of each painting.
Mock Couture reminded me what it’s like to be a kid. Brwn Drby made me a T-shirt and introduced me to Eye Level Art’s Mike Elder. (“They’re all solid people,” Mike said of his featured artists.) Righchus showcased his music videos, projected floor to ceiling behind his three-man band. Through all this, an unassuming Fletcher 3 happily wandered the floor. He only looked uncomfortable once, and that was because I made him pose for a picture.