• The Future is Ancient, 2023 (Poster)
  • The Future is Ancient, 2023 (Poster)
Ken Taylor Reynaga

The Future is Ancient, 2023 (Poster)


Exhibition poster for:

Ken Taylor Reynaga
‘The Future is Ancient’
02/18 03/18 2023
West Hollywood

Press release:

For The Future is Ancient, Ken Taylor Reynaga’s third solo exhibition at Simchowitz Gallery, the artist presents new intimate drawings and paintings on paper, linen, and canvas that continue his joyous exploration of people, places, and things. For the works in this show, Taylor Reynaga toys with humor and play, as seen in several paper pieces featuring childlike elements such as Tweety bird and Tricycles. Other paintings depict objects related to work and toil, including his ongoing portrayals of wheelbarrows and cowboy hats. In Taylor Reynaga’s hands, these objective correlatives for labor evoke a bold and sensual relationship with the surrounding sun-dappled landscape. 

In the The Future is Ancient, Taylor Reynaga also dances with themes of partnership and romance, e.g. a moving couplet of oil on canvas works titled Trees and Love and Love and Trees (all works 2023), in which we see red and blue figures kissing and canoodling in a forest-like location. In Belly Creek, an oil on canvas painting of a pregnant woman lying on a rock by a river, the figure appears relaxed and peaceful as she sinks into the surrounding natural environment. Although she appears alone, the viewer becomes the paramour gazing upon a lover in repose.

In addition to moments of levity and romance, the exhibition features balancing moments of melancholy, such as the darker palettes of Waterfalls and Dia y Noche. And yet, a feeling of hope resounds in these drawings and paintings. The thick, textured often cartoonlike repetitive nature of the artist’s work might call to mind Philip Guston. And elements such as the bright, primary-colored skin tones and the unrecognizable, moonlike landscapes, may make us think of the surrealists like Max Ernst. Taylor Reynaga’s renderings, however, have a vivacity and exuberance that distinguishes him from either historical artist. Although elements of nostalgia exist in the works in the exhibition, this is not a somber longing for the past, but rather, an exultant return to the joy and love of days gone by, and an eager look ahead to an unknown, yet “ancient” future.

Ken Taylor Reynaga received his BA in 2014 from California State University. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Tatjana Pieters, Ghent, Belgium; Simchowitz, Los Angeles; The Mistake Room, Guadalajara; The Newsstand Project, Los Angeles; and Capital Gallery, San Francisco. His works have been included in group exhibitions at Jac Forbes Gallery, Malibu; Fort Gansevoort, New York; The Pit, Los Angeles; Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco; Steve Turner, Los Angeles; and Penske Projects, Montecito.

The Future is Ancient is on view from February 18th, 2023, through March 18th with an opening reception on Saturday, February 18th from 5PM - 8PM.

24h x 18w in


Ken Taylor Reynaga’s (b. 1990, Lynwood, CA) work emerges from the quotidian intimacies of people’s lives—from the meals we share with family, Sunday soccer games at the park, and even backyard boogies with friends. For Ken, these seemingly private moments—of significance only to those who experience them—are where we confront the broader contradictions of being human. Born in Southern California but raised in Bakersfield, Taylor Reynaga grew up in a place where newly arrived migrants live alongside people who either by choice or necessity settled in the agricultural hub of California’s Central Valley. This region, in Taylor Reynaga’s practice, is envisioned as a new frontier forged by narratives of rebirth and transformation at the edges of society. The promises of different worlds at the margin however are always accompanied by difficult experiences. For Taylor Reynaga, this becomes most pertinent when considering the ways we grapple with our pasts and our identities.

Thickly layered paintings of varying scales that elegantly and intentionally blur the boundaries between figuration and abstraction depict the emotionally loaded details of the everyday that Taylor Reynaga is invested in. Men wearing cowboy hats at a soccer stadium, a vaquero dancing with a woman at what could be a wedding, an illegal cockfight, a table filled with food—these common scenes on Taylor Reynaga’s canvases are fairly ordinary at first. When closely analyzed however, one notices that some of his pictures are painted on tablecloths or old bed sheets; that a cowboy hat is painted next to the flower table arrangement that a mother has made; or that the food on the table clearly tells us that whoever sat to enjoy it had limited means. The nuanced approach to engage with the charged relationship between masculinity and the domestic, the lives of mixed race people, and the inequities of class is what makes Taylor Reynaga’s practice distinct from his peers and predecessors. In a canon of Art History that has very narrowly defined what we consider Chicanx or Latinx art, Taylor’s works exist uncomfortably. The political in his practice is embodied, viscerally felt, and sited in the most private acts. Despite the bold painterly gestures and bursts of bright color that have come to define his stylistic approach, there is a quietness in the work and as you encounter it the experience resembles one of being invited to see a family photo album—albeit one that speaks to the realities of many families and not just one.

Taylor Reynaga received his BA in 2014 from California State University. Taylor Reynaga’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at The Mistake Room, Guadalajara; The Newsstand Project, Los Angeles; Capital Gallery, San Francisco. His works have been included in group exhibitions at Fort Gansevoort, New York; The Pit, Los Angeles; Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco; Steve Turner, Los Angeles; Penske Projects, Montecito.

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