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for immediate release

“Street Portraits & Reality Bites”
January 10 - February 7, 2004

Works by: Lenny Silverberg
opening reception: January 17, 2003; 7PM - 11PM

OVERTONES is proud to present the first one-person show on the West Coast of Lenny Silverberg's oeuvre. Lenny Silverberg grew up in Brooklyn, NY, studied with Ad Reinhart at Brooklyn College, met Thelonious Monk at the Village Vanguard (Monk told him to dress for his red hair-"wear pink!"), moved to San Francisco in 1965, was a stone cold hippie (he worked in light shows at the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West), lived to tell the tale and moved back to Manhattan in 1980 because he missed the mean streets.

If Santa Monica is the "Home of the Homeless", then what is downtown New York City? Lenny Silverberg has only to step out of his old loft building on the corner of Centre and Broome Streets to encounter the subjects of his paintings and drawings: the dispossessed, discarded, somehow invisible people who manage to live in hallways, sleep on subway grates and in curiously inventive hand-made shelters.

For twenty years he has walked the streets of his neighborhood, between Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown, with a sketchpad, taking notes, then going upstairs and painting poignant, hauntingly dignified-occasionally humorous-oil portraits and black and white ink wash drawings.

Using techniques that evoke Goya and Daumier-in vibrant living color and stark black and white-Silverberg brings an acute eye and a humanist's empathy to his work.

Once we see Silverberg's subjects through the prism of his art, we realize we know these people in our bones-they are us. Perhaps fallen on harder times: one dot-com bomb, one failed stock market gamble, one lost governmental health care package away.

OVERTONES is a Los Angeles art venue that supports and promotes creative endeavors in all artistic disciplines, with emphasis on the diversity of Los Angeles communities, emerging and mid-career artists, international collaboration and social responsibility. OVERTONES is committed to searching outside the confines of established art structures and presenting work that has the potential to engage a wide range of audiences and foster growth and progress.