The Artist Whose Work Hangs In Leonardo DiCaprio’s and Jay-Z’s Homes
Culture

The Artist Whose Work Hangs In Leonardo DiCaprio’s and Jay-Z’s Homes

Brazilian-born contemporary painter Christian Rosa will be legendary, just wait.

Tristan Kallas

There’s nothing but a vast, inconspicuous field of industrial buildings surrounding Christian Rosa’s studio in downtown L.A. The only signifier that we were in the right place was a big black gate that slowly slid open as we approached it. Behind it was a massive, airy warehouse with ceilings so high they made Rosa’s 20-foot canvases look like they could fit in your living room.

Brazilian-born, Vienna-raised, L.A-based (you following?) Rosa’s large-scale contemporary paintings—think abstract geometric shapes in bold colors, fine scribble pencil marks, and casual strokes over a foot long—are currently hanging in the homes of the likes of Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio. “Sometimes he assists—he’s really into painting,” Rosa tells us nonchalantly of DiCaprio while smoking cigarette after cigarette on the couch in the middle of his studio. There’s a life-size cutout of Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing Rosa’s paint-covered smock hovering behind us. “I should invite him to the studio, too,” he jokes, pointing at it. But, really, he should!

Before we continue talking about everything from how he breaks through a creative block to his evolution as an artist, and why projects like Hooper Project and Grande Vista, which give rising artists the opportunity to showcase their works, are important to him, he asked if he could grab his skateboard and let his dogs roam free. Yes, of course!


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“If I have a creative block, I go surf or I have a music record label, so I try to find musical artists and get in contact with them, get them excited, and try to get them deals with major labels. I’ll do something totally outside [of painting]. I also have a film production company. I produced two feature films last year. I’ll just go and do something else and have fun in that world until my head is like, ‘Wow, I have an idea again.’ Then, I’ll get back to it.”
Part of the series:

Studio Visit

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