Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
Date:20th March – 19th April, 2023
Venue:G07, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
WOAW Gallery is pleased to present Stacy Leigh’s ESCAPE TO B-ROLL, the New York City–based artist’s exhibition featuring 10 paintings she created this year at WOAW Gallery’s location at 9 Queen’s Road Central, from March 20 to April 19, 2023, which also celebrates the artist’s first showing in Hong Kong.
ESCAPE TO B-ROLL features a series of unplanned, freestyle paintings inspired by the artist’s fantasy of “selling her apartment and moving to a house somewhere with no neighbors.” The exhibition showcases artworks of bright, bold colors with whimsical titles like House full o hoes, Bad bish, and The life of a drone day 8. Each scene in the painting center quaint houses and landscapes of lush greenery, painstakingly created from the artist’s imagination.
The artworks depict a fantastical world created by the artist after an unpleasant experience with her housing board—a “b-roll” of a life she wishes to escape into. The paintings exude a suburban calm, and are littered with potted plants, tiny dogs, and handsome cars. Behind half-drawn shutters, viewers are offered glimpses into the cozy interiors of warmly-lit houses, and on the outside, the neatly-trimmed lawns and isolated cliffs provide the setting for weekend barbecues and picnics on a summer’s day.
In this series of paintings, the houses are set against a backdrop of sunset-drenched skies, with no trace of human presence in any of the frames. The artist imbues her farcical sense of humor into hidden corners of the paintings, works that require careful viewing for all their details to come into focus—for instance, doormats that read “If you’re reading this, take off your shoes” and “There’s some hoes in this house.” Some works are new iterations of the “drone day paintings” in Leigh’s oeuvre, which often tackle similar themes of quiet suburbia life. Yet there is also an unsettling quality to the perfection of these scenes, with their vivid colors and bold brushstrokes, as though at any moment, the arrival of a stranger may puncture the fantasy and bring the peace to an abrupt end.
Stacy Leigh (b. 1971, New York, NY) attended New York University, and currently lives and works in New York City. In 2017, she held her first solo exhibition of paintings Nerves at the Fortnight Institute in New York, where American painter and photographer Richard Prince discovered her figurative works and gave them prominence. Most recently, Leigh presented her solo presentation, The Condition of Things, at Harper’s Gallery in August 2022. In her series Average Americans, Leigh creates sets and stages stories featuring sex dolls to interrogate the rise of artificial intelligence, human connection, and the politics of desire.
The show at WOAW Gallery Central will open on March 20, 2023.