by Roxanne GoldbergPosted on

In his upcoming solo exhibition at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, James Reka examines the transition in a city from winter to spring. Perhaps no other city experiences such a drastic change during this time, than does Berlin, which come April is flooded with people riding bikes, picnicking in parks and soaking up the sunshine. Earlier this year, Reka came to Berlin as the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Urban Nation Workspace in the former West Berlin neighborhood of Schöneberg. His abstract paintings of women pulse with a dynamic spirit that captures not only the city’s newfound spring life, but also Berlin’s struggles with gentrification. Working in Schöneberg, an area noted for both its upscale residences and regular prostitutes, Reka is no stranger to this paradox of imported poshness and crude authenticity.