April 27 – May 18, 2019
Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by Southern Californian-born artist Casey Weldon in Latent Content. Known for surreal imagery that combines darkness with humor, Weldon creates visual puns and narratively suggestive contexts to stir associations or deliver smart, if at times irreverent, punch lines. His works have often sought to critique and consider the role of popular culture and digital media in the creation of hyperbole and representational extremes.
Striving to create works that are accessible and readily legible rather than obscure, Weldon invokes familiar elements in surreal ways to play with our expectations of the everyday and commonplace. An aspect of absurdity shapes much of Weldon’s work, and a willingness to connect dreamlike extremes with creative recombinations of the known. Looking to popular culture, Weldon has played to the internet’s penultimate tendency towards distortion; his multi-eyed cats come to mind, inspired by its insatiable feline obsession and our weird cultural brevity in the age of memes. Weldon explores the wild in contrast with the domestic, and the safe punctuated by the wonderfully aberrant and strange.
By combining light with dark, Weldon’s richly hued, though at times aphotic palette becomes luminous, revealing otherworldly sources of light that often emanate or erupt impossibly from figures and landscapes. In past works, fireworks have burst forth from human eyes, a great white shark bares mandibles of Lite-Brite bulb teeth, and humanoid figures emerge mythically from otherworldly landscapes. Preferring amplified and even psychedelically disorienting colors, Weldon incorporates neons to alter the atmospheric cast of his paintings and heighten their jarring impact.
Favoring the combination of kitsch and pop, Weldon’s work in the past has gravitated towards melancholy and nostalgia, invoked longing, or inspired a vertiginous kind of confusion when faced with cutie cakes made out of steak, multi-eyed animals, or giant predatory cats shown through extreme amplifications of scale. His new body of work, however, feels thematically darker than previous output. Focusing on the theme of latency as an underlying current for this exhibition, Weldon mines the subconscious potential of his imagery, combining his penchant for narrative with a more acute and psychologically-inflected angle.
In Latent Content, Weldon continues to explore surreal hybrids, free associations, and unlikely amalgams, combining objects and creatures in symbolically valent ways. Playing with optical illusion and trompe-l’oeil techniques, Weldon creates new works that gradually reveal their initially invisible or latent layers, stirring just beneath the surface.