Devendra Banhart

November 5 - December 18, 2004

Andrew Roth is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of drawings by Devendra Banhart. On view there will be approximately 20 ink and tempera drawings and two original handmade books.

Banhart, 23 years old, instantly established a cult following as a psychedelic folk singer in 2002 with his debut album OH ME OH MY THE WAY THE DAY GOES BY/ THE SUN IS SETTING/ DOGS ARE DREAMING/ LOVESONGS OF THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT followed by REJOICING IN THE HANDS (April 2004) and the newly released NINO ROJO.

Banhart’s drawings are much like his music. They appear as immediate, uncensored notations from his imagination. Their graceful, delicate lines flow over the page coming together in intricate three-dimensional forms. Occasionally the lines will congeal into anthropomorphic detail: a pair of hands, eyes, a gaping mouth that lead to embryonic birds, owls, snakes.

These hypnotic images are generally quite small, intimate. Many are made on whatever paper is handy, often blank pages torn out of old books; the inside cover of a cloth-bound volume, detached from the signatures. Therefore many of the drawings appear old, found, ephemeral. In his music and especially in performance, Banhart has the uncanny ability to sound and appear at once a child and an old man; a little girl and a wicked witch; a prankster and a preacher. These qualities are effortlessly transposed onto his visual art; and as viewers, we acquiesce to their seductive powers of transformation.

Although Banhart studied briefly at the San Francisco Art Institute, he is self-taught. He has exhibited widely in group shows from The Luggage Store in San Francisco; New Image Arts in Los Angeles; The Fresh Up Club in Texas; and Canada New York in New York.