Naive Ironic Art: Lost & Found in the Time of INfection Series
As an immigrant from Vietnam deeply indebted to my adopted country, I believe that, at no other time, our society is more torn between different ideologies, our democracy more on the verge of dissolution, interpersonal relationships more frayed. My paintings do not claim to bring any solutions to those problems, but only to raise consciousness about them. If a different perspective might help, it could be found in the naïve, satiric reflections by alien characters that I have inserted into the background of the paintings; they may crack some smile of wisdom upon our sad conundrums.
With no formal art training, I offer a fresh look – through the eyes of a child - at pressing sociopolitical issues of our times (climate change, pandemic, criminal justice, human rights, racism, voter disenfranchisement, etc…) and subjects of interpersonal interest (love, hope, healing, community, creativity.) My paintings express horror, shock, revulsion, at what I sense we, as a community, have lost, or on the way of losing, but also joy, hope, wonder at what we have interpersonally found.
Viewers will meet childlike stick figures, floating urban landscapes, imaginary space, and characters from history, pop culture and contemporary politics telling today’s narratives. To bring about a rich, dreamlike background, I lay down several layers of acrylic paint on each canvas, and texture its flat surface with mesh-shaped acrylic paste, or glue on foreign objects to create a rough, 3D illusion of gritty realities. Childlike I disregard the rules of perspectives and proportions, and freely engage in geometric abstraction of forms. I then unleash the power of brushstrokes, colors, line drawing and mark making to tell the story.
I am inspired by the primitivism of Henri Rousseau, the social engagement of the Mexican muralists, the color exuberance of a Matisse and the subconscious action of the Abstract Expressionists.
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48W x 36H x 1.5T in acrylic Music that touches the heart through millenia.
60W x 48H x 1.5T in, textured acrylic Horror at the specter of another civil war. "Uncivil" as it would be a slap to the face of history, as if we have not learned anything from her.
48w x 72H x 1.5T in. textured acrylic Superman, Wonder Woman and Washington to the rescue of democracy. ...Aliens wondering who the Masked Rider is