Artist Reena Tolentino (RT in the realm of art) was born and raised in Hollywood, California.  Reena was initially exposed to art when her family made a side trip to LACMA, LA’s Contemporary Museum of Art.  While inside the museum’s galleries, she mused on the various art collections displaying oil and acrylic paintings that ranged from the lesser-known painters leading up to the established Masters. She would ponder about a painter’s depth of expression on canvass while immersing herself in admiration over their work.

In her many art and travel exposures, Reena was introduced to storybook writers, narrators, to landscape and portraiture artists at summer art festivals in Vancouver, Canada. In Europe, her visits to art museums in Paris, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and to various other European countries paved the way for her to see first-hand the art styles of the Masters and in a way, served an opportunity for her to “converse” with them.

Her development as an artist that she is today from when she was an 11-year old precocious young girl using water colors that later transposed to oil piqued her curiosity. Her preference and style of painting depicted street scenes of people, portraits and toys. Scenes that made you wonder about the goings-on in their world but like in anything, a temporary hiatus came upon her until she picked up her paintbrush again in college. She had no formal art school training but art, nevertheless, was a therapeutic avenue for her. While in college and having friends who attended private arts school in L.A. she would pick their brain about techniques. Her creative style began emerging into Pop Art–its composition; style, definition, expression and colors captivated her. To date, she gets her inspiration from the comic film, ‘WATCHMEN,’ with characters like Rorschach and the inkblot test to create art-using photos of famous icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and Tupac Shakur.  Alongside this, she wanted to make each color a tribute to the placement of symbols and art textures motivated by pure intention with some street swag.

“Every artwork created with labor and love, speaks to the person who is meant for it.” This quote points the reader to the direction of Reena’s journey that continues for us in her upcoming art show to be hosted by Lab Art Los Angeles on the latter part of 2015.  She will be exhibiting a “12-art piece collection of 1990s Icons of our Lifetime.”  She is featuring Icons such as: Britney Murphy, Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G, Eazy E, Princess Diana, River Phoenix, Selena Quintanilla, Robin Williams, Aaliyah, Left Eye Lopez, and Kurt Cobain.

Having an art show is not her end-all because Reena dreams of having her own art gallery in both New York City and Los Angeles.  She would also like to create some art with Monopoly and talk about Andy Warhol, Picasso and Hofmann over food and water.

Instagram: @ReenaTolentino
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