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Troy Chew: Fuck the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men
September 13, 2020 - October 31, 2020Free
Parker Gallery is proud to present its first solo exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Troy Chew.
The exhibition includes a suite of three works from the artist’s new Three Crowns series, which represent exuberantly embellished gold tooth crowns, studded with diamonds and primary-colored gemstones. Three Crowns (8) is a multigenerational family portrait, featuring the artist, his father and grandfather proudly showing off their gold fronts, framed within the outline of a tooth. Three Crowns (7) and Three Crowns (9) include portraits of celebrated Hip-hop stars flashing elaborate grills and prehistoric jawbones revealing primitive dental hardware, a reference to the ancient practice adorning teeth with jewels in affluent communities. This juxtaposition provides a surprising social history of cosmetic dentistry.
The exhibition borrows its title (a riposte to the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme) from a self-portrait depicting the artist walking alone on the street at night, paintbrush and blunt in hand. The composition is illuminated in the background by the blinding high beams and red and blue flash of a police car. Taking cues from the tradition of Western History painting, the narrative is left unfinished, allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions from an all-too-familiar scenario.
The Invisible Man portrays the artist in grand full-figure style, painting en plein air with the Golden Gate Bridge receding across the canvas behind him. White socks pulled up below the hem of cut-off jean shorts, his skin is transparent to the ground beneath his feet. His face blends in with the clouds, leaving only the contours of his features to reveal his identity. Taken together, the works address the opposing desires to lay low and glow.
Troy Chew (b. 1992 in Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include WWJZD, Cushion Works, San Francisco, CA (2019) and Stunt 101, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2019). Recent group exhibitons include California Winter, organized in collaboration with Hannah Hoffman at Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2019), Vanguard Revisited, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA (2019), Graduation, Good Mother Gallery, Oakland, CA (2019) and Black Now(here), Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA (2018).