Justin Lyons’ artwork leaves room for viewer’s own interpretation.

Justin Lyons’ artwork leaves room for viewer’s own interpretation. (Justin Lyons)

Maune Contemporary, Santa Barbara’s newest gallery for modern and contemporary art, will present its spring exhibit, Truth or Friction, a solo show by Florida artist Justin Lyons. The exhibit opens Saturday, April 23, with a reception, 5-8 p.m. at 1309 State St.

“We are excited to bring one of our most thought-provoking artists to Santa Barbara,” said Heidi Maune, owner of Maune Contemporary. “Justin’s works always leave you wondering what the meaning is of a particular painting. Of course, he won’t tell the viewer the meaning and one is left to form their own ideas.

“His paintings are always fun and we think the community will enjoy the exhibition.”

“I love Santa Barbara, it’s such a beautiful place, and while I’ve visited a few times, I have never exhibited there,” Lyons. said. “My inspiration for Truth or Friction was loosely based on the idea of personal revelations about oneself, and how we tend to put off truths we know are real to avoid frictions.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my art with a new West Coast audience, and hopeful that my work will resonate with the area. I have a suspicion it will.”

Lyons is a self-taught contemporary artist from the Florida panhandle. He credits his introduction into the world of street art as the spark that led him to pursue his own form of artistic expression. It was during a late-night “wheatpasting” foray when Lyons realized art didn’t have to be limited to museums or to the stark white walls of galleries.

“I discovered that art could also find its way into the urban landscape and still be powerful,” he said. Producing art that was raw, expressive, loose and risky provided an outlet for his creative impulses.

Inspired by the lives and work of Cy Twombly, Barry McGee, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lyons refined his process and worked to develop a style of his own that is both thought-provoked and thought-provoking. This maturation provided the foundation Lyons needed to expand his audience beyond the streets.

By 2012, Lyons’ art had been celebrated and awarded in venues and exhibits beyond the urban landscape. A growing interest and appreciation for his art by collectors and galleries alike continue to inspire and fuel his passion for painting. Today Lyons’ mediums include wood, acrylic, house paint, spray paint, oil stick, epoxy resin, and pencil.

He said his inspirations are most often triggered by a word, phrase or thought, which in association with the other elements within the work, intend to try to tell a story without giving away too much, letting the viewers interpret their own connections to the piece.

For full details on the opening exhibit, visit maune.com.

Maune Contemporary specializes in limited edition and unique works by mid-career and international artists whose work has been exhibited and found in the collections of museums worldwide. The gallery carries art by Alex Katz, Donald Sultan, Ross Bleckner, Julie Torres, Halim Flowers, Robert Kelly, Caio Fonseca, Esteban Ocampo-Giraldo, Justin Lyons, and Gavin Rain.