Skip to main content

photo of the artist looking at the camera

Troy Chew

Remote Guest Lecture

April 9, 2021
12:00 p.m. PDT
YouTube Stream:

Troy Lamarr Chew II (b. 1992 in Los Angeles, CA, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) explores the legacy of the African Diaspora and its reverberations throughout American culture. His work looks methodically at systems of coded communication and how this is translated and mistranslated both within the Diaspora and the mainstream.

Chew’s rich artistic visual language draws inspiration largely from Black culture and its history. A highly skilled realist, inspired by European painting techniques, Chew uses these art historical traditions to reframe their exclusion of Blackness. In his Out the Mud series, hand dyed and sewn cloths from West Africa are replicated in a trompe l’oeil fashion, their patterns “torn” away to reveal portrayals of contemporary Black culture and resistance. In another series, Slanguage, the artist paints Flemish style vanitas picturing everyday objects, coded in hip-hop lexicon. His most recent Three Crowns series explores the social history of cosmetic dentistry and the use of grills in hip-hop culture. The artist’s lush and luminous oil paintings embody the energy of this infinitely re-mixed yet deeply rooted genre.