March 14 - April 25, 2014 / Bherd Gallery
Kellie Talbot and Troy Gua pair up in an unlikely road trip to explore themes of migration, manifest destiny, and the unique American yearning to get out on the highway. Presenting new works in mixed media, and oils on canvas and panel, Here is a two-person take on sense of place, movement and choice.
The two artists may have different approaches, but they often end up in the same spot. Talbot creates hyper-real paintings of neon signs, billboards, factories and oddities of the American road-scape. Her large-scale oils blow up certain sections of typography or texture to macro focus, letting us read the flaking paint, burnt-out bulbs and rust like a rebus. Her work often honors the neglected, decaying and passed-by in our modern landscape: old signs, crumbling architecture, forgotten cemeteries.
Gua’s work in mixed media plays with bright colors, shiny finishes, and sheen surfaces, all the better to conjure—and skewer—images of Hollywood perfection. The artist is best known for his “Pop Hybrid” series, visual portmanteaus that overlay the features of two celebrities, making a composite that is both eerily familiar and jarringly strange. His high-gloss works both support and parody our need for recognition, society’s interest in fame and notoriety, and our craze for nostalgia.
Talbot’s focus on American history, craftsmanship and decay contrasts perfectly with Gua’s humorous look at the pop status quo of American culture. From what we leave behind to where we think we want to go, these artists are sending postcards from their exploration of the frontier. Wish you were here!