Installation of Sonya Sombreuil / COME TEES's work

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Sonya Sombreuil / COME TEES

Since 2009 the painter Sonya Sombreuil has operated the fashion label COME TEES. Rooted in Los Angeles’s thriving streetwear scene, Sombreuil’s brand has gained momentum both in the public eye and in collaboration with larger labels. Her limited-edition pieces stand out for their signature screenprinting: jagged lines, scribbled texts, song lyrics applied in heavy brushstrokes, comic book–like images, and lush colors spilling across vintage Dickies work shirts. The DIY nature of COME TEES goes beyond handmade imagery to pollinate the community-driven mentality that underlies Sombreuil’s practice. COME TEES articulates the stakes not only of contemporary fashion in Los Angeles but also of image making, distribution, alternative entrepreneurial economies, and pedagogy (Sombreuil teaches T-shirt making, drawing, and screenprinting in local prisons).

In her installation Sombreuil presents a selection of screenprinted T-shirts from her COME TEES collection. She uses a freestanding wooden structure inspired by wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of finding beauty in imperfection. The structure’s deconstructed rawness mirrors the DIY nature of her practice, as she reflects on the way in which garments are shown when they are not being worn.

In Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the artist's work is present in two institutions, across Los Angeles. See Sonya Sombreuil's work on view at the Hammer.

BIOGRAPHY
Sonya Sombreuil was born in 1986 in Santa Cruz, California. Alongside her painting practice she founded the fashion label COME TEES in 2009. Strongly rooted in Los Angeles’s thriving streetwear scene, the brand is gaining momentum both in the public eye and in collaboration with larger brands. Her limited-edition pieces stand out for their signature screen printing: jagged lines, scribbled texts, song lyrics applied in heavy brushstrokes, comic book–like images, lush colors spilling out across vintage Dickies work shirts. The DIY nature of COME TEES goes beyond handmade imagery to pollinate the community-driven mentality that underlies Sombreuil’s practice. In 2019 she opened Classic Hits, a shop that stocks items from her circle of designer friends, including Venus X’s GHE20G0TH1K, and No Sesso. COME TEES articulates the stakes not only of contemporary fashion in Los Angeles but also of image making, distribution, new entrepreneurial economies, and pedagogy—Sombreuil teaches T-shirt making, drawing, and screen printing in local prisons. She recently had a solo exhibition of her paintings at Bridget Donahue, New York (2018).

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