White Walls Presents:
New Works by Casey Gray
White Walls is pleased to present TROPIC, a solo exhibition by San Francisco based artist Casey Gray. The opening reception will be Saturday, October 12, from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through November 2, 2013.
Thematically centered around coastal culture and fare and featuring twenty new paintings in a tidal wave of color, TROPIC vibrates with a sun-washed psychedelic edge, leaving the viewer with a relative degree of optical nausea. Pineapple, palm trees, iguanas, sunsets, fruity cocktails, nautical flags, flamingo lawn ornaments and bikini clad derrieres are all but too abundant in this patchwork of tequila-sunrise memories and salty daydreams.
TROPIC highlights Gray’s dynamic range as an artist by featuring a fluid array of works in a variety styles. By collaging and manipulating a collection of carefully chosen internet source material into layered digital sketches, which he then references for each painting, Gray aims to present a non-linear narrative of a hypothetical vacation. This approach is driven by Gray’s interest in exploring the conceptual space created from the dichotomy of digital verses tangible experience, and to create work that acts as an interface between the two.
In “Beach Party 3, 2, 1” a basket of fruit and beach toys takes center stage under an umbrella in what one might guess is a lazy afternoon picnic. A pair of feet with brightly painted toenails interrupt the foreground of the painting, and coupled with a polka-dot bikini top shoved into the right corner, give the impression that the viewer is seeing through a topless sunbather’s lethargic gaze. In “A Collection of Natural Treasures”, Gray presents a trompe l’oeil arrangement of natural and manmade objects composed in a curiosity cabinet, each sectioned off into its own box, elevating their symbolism and story. While there are also more traditional still life paintings included in the show such as his wildly popular floral series, Gray sidesteps towards the abstract with pieces like “Blue Hawaii”, “Havana Cooler” and “Waterlemon Melonade”, each of which is based off of tropical wallpaper samples. “Blue Hawaii” features a linear pattern of stylized palm trees gradating from golden yellow to deep fuchsia. The tranquility of the pattern is cut short by large gestural stripes of negative space fractioning the piece into a broken mirror of floating shards, yet the breezy undercurrent of TROPIC is still accounted for. When viewed altogether, the works come alive like a warm island wind, ebbing and flowing with the rhythm of the seas.
Casey Gray was born in 1983 in Palo Alto, CA and received his MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2010. His work has been included in group shows at Circuit 12 Contemporary, Dallas; Breeze Block Gallery, Portland; Nudashank, Baltimore; Gallery Yves LaRoche, Montreal; 941 Geary, San Francisco, among others. Solo exhibitions include Garden Party (2012), Style of Eye (2011) and Ill Romantic (2010) all at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco.
Interview with Casey Gray
Interview with owner/founder/curator Justin Giarla
High-resolution images available upon request
Opening Reception – October 12, 2013, 7-11 pm
On View Through November 02, 2013
@ White Walls (www.whitewallssf.com)
886 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA