neutral gray n5.

"neutral gray n5. is a painting about the unity behind duality. It lives in a space where good and bad, birth and death, color and inversion, plus and minus merge into oneness – the neutral gray center between the extremes of black and white."

My intention with ‘neutral gray n5.’ was to create a painting that is ‘self aware’ in the sense that it steps back from itself in order to describe itself.

It feels as if the central painting has a message to share, so it expands beyond its own frame and uses a seemingly random assortment of sketches, words, realism, color theory, geometry, master copies, and illustrations to further this message of unity behind chaos. It is like a fractal version of itself, where each element reflects the whole.

'As I got further into this painting, it began to feel like a visual representation of everything going on inside my head. Just like my mind, this work is an amalgamation of words, visuals, concepts, desires and philosophies that I am constantly trying to understand by drawing connections between them.'

Introducing ‘Meta Art’

neutral gray n5. is the first of my new meta paintings. In late 2019, I began formulating a new artistic style that is, in a nutshell, “art about itself” and I coined the phrase Meta Art to describe it. In the process, I discovered that numerous creators from all corners of contemporary art are stumbling onto this same idea.

I recently published these findings into a manifesto titled, Meta Art is the 21st Century’s Artistic Movement. That essay goes into more detail about the origins and intentions of neutral gray n5, as well as this larger movement of Meta Art.

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    About the Artist

    drew label. is a contemporary artist whose work is driven by exploration across mediums and boundaries. He spends most of his time finding the threads that tie together his wide-ranging interests [painting, music, programming, design, cooking, science, philosophy, etc.] in order to distill those discoveries into cohesive works of art.

    label. is drew’s generic, anti-brand name designed to represent his core belief that we are limited only by our definitions. label. is undefined and therefore unlimited. His goal is that label. can encourage each of us to push beyond our limited identities to reach our creative potential.

    You can read more about him at and follow him on Instagram @drew.label.


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