Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
WOAW Gallery Presents WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN AT
Exhibition Period: August 25 – September 22, 2023
Venue: G07, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
WOAW Gallery is delighted to announce WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN AT, a solo exhibition by Scottish artist Alexander Guy, showcasing nine of his recent and earlier oil paintings. Drawing inspiration from quotidian objects and situations, the exhibition captures the postCOVID cultural vibrancy through a series of visual records, formalized by the artist’s experience in Glasgow. It’s a testament to the extraordinary that lies hidden in the ordinary, with a reflection on the excesses of consumerism. The exhibition will be on view from August 25 to September 22, 2023, at WOAW Gallery Central, marking Guy’s first solo showing in Hong Kong.
In the swift passage of time, memories often fade, especially during these times of COVID. Yet, humanity persists in grasping at every moment and etching it into existence, transforming the intangible into something visible. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN AT is a visual souvenir of the past year in Glasgow, a time capsule for the year of 2023 that captures the essence of our times. It serves as the artist’s visual record, documenting the effect of postlockdown changes in a consumerist society. From sky-rocketing price tags to excessive packaging in Glasgow supermarkets, the anxiety, nervousness, and tension are palpable between the lines of Guy’s vibrant colors. Indirectly pointing out the paranoia of the public through a significant event of modern history, the exhibition invites us to reflect on the challenges of our times through mundane and the commonplace.
Rooted from his musical background, Guy sets the exhibition in a format of a music album, with each individual work created to complement the others. Guy visualized the nine paintings to be viewed as “singles” and “B-sides”. By presenting his works in this format, Guy encourages viewers to engage with each painting as a standalone piece while also considering its connection to the larger body of work. The visual album concept invites visitors to explore the exhibition as a curated journey, where the arrangement and sequencing of the paintings create a deliberate flow and rhythm. Through this musicalbased approach, Guy aims to enhance the viewer’s experience and evoke emotions, much like the way a well-crafted album can resonate with its listeners. The exhibition becomes a multisensory experience, where the visual compositions and thematic threads intertwine to create a meaningful and thought-provoking narrative.
Alexander Guy (b. 1962, St Andrews, Fife) is a Scottish artist who has a genuine thirst to engage with real people and places, painting what he calls the ‘tacky realism’ of modern life. His oeuvre functions as an incredible encyclopaedia of behaviours, trends and pop culture in Thatcherite Britain. He is the UK’s modern-day Domenico Gnoli. Guy’s version of Pop art, where banal branded objects occupy the space (the canvas) formally dedicated to ‘high’ art, has a humanist feel. Kleenex, Greggs, Mr Kipling, Harpic, Starbust could not be said to be seductive graphically as elements of every day consumption but Guy renders them almost to a photo-realist degree, and with a kind of nostalgia that brings these objects strangely to life.