pt. 2 Gallery is pleased to announce Did you know love is healing?, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Oakland-based artist Jeffrey Cheung. Presenting a new series of paintings and drawings created over the last year, this will be Cheung’s first exhibition with the gallery.
In an untitled painting, the legs of five figures criss-cross and overlap atop a blue background. Presented in profile with elongated bodies, these figures hold one another, creating a weblike formation of tenderness and support. Despite variance in skin tone across the figures, they share facial features; each bears neck-length curly hair, piercing almond-shaped eyes and a bemused smirk. Their androgynous bodies and comfort with one another support an open-ended assumption of love – that regardless of physical form or gender identity; regardless of traditional ideas of union or pleasure – love can be tender, supportive and healing.
Cheung’s paintings repel ideas of heteronormativity and stress the idea that representation matters. The ambiguous characters, undefinable by race or gender, are instead typified by the joy that they share, and the light they spark in one another. Many figures are rendered in brilliant prismatic colors, further removing them from any assumption of racial or gender identity. Without these signifiers, Cheung’s subjects present free of preconceived notions based on their appearance.