June 3 – June 24, 2017
Thinkspace Gallery is pleased to present new works by Casey Weldon in Sentimental Deprivation. Born in Southern California, Weldon attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is now based out of Washington, D.C. by way of Las Vegas, New York, and Portland. His surreal paintings combine elements of humor, nostalgia, and the absurd to stage open-ended narratives, and lush imaginary views, that border on the hyperchromatic edges of psychedelia. From optically disorienting four-eyed kittens and seemingly phosphorescent girls to giant disproportionately scaled Chihuahuas in desert canyon landscapes, nothing is too weirdly outré or unimaginable for Weldon’s visual fictions.
Unrestricted by the prohibitive constraints of probability, Weldon’s imagination playfully borrows imagery and kitsch from popular culture – past and present – and recombines its familiar fragments into beautifully strange reconstitutions.
Weldon gambols with the manipulation of scale and contrast to create otherworldly scenes, as though pulled from the cavities of the unconscious and its latent thread-like associations. The works alternate between moments of intense darkness and incandescent light, figuratively and literally. Saturated with lush color and detail, they are stylized by idiosyncratic palette choices that capture a range of brightness and atmosphere, from the intensity of neon to the lambent of dusk and the recesses of twilight obscurity. The unexpected is always at play in the subject matter, as unlikely pairings, exaggerated spatial relationships, and incongruous contexts offer infinite possible realities and suggestive collusions. The world, delivered through the lens of Weldon’s imagination, is distorted on a hyperbolic visual plane, where the mythic proportions of incidental symbolism are laid open to the willing. Weldon creates works with hooks rather than imperatives, providing an openness to interpretation for the viewer rather than a prescriptive demand to be read.
Inspired by the early twentieth century surrealists André Breton and Giorgio de Chirico, Weldon uses similar creative strategies like juxtaposition and stream of consciousness, filtered through a contemporary sensibility, to defamiliarize the familiar and problematize the seemingly innocuous elements of the day to day. Charged with a range of affect that taps into everything from the playful and irreverent to the uncanny and melancholic, his works are beautifully disruptive and galvanized by the unpredictable. Technically, the paintings, though illustrative in style, combine moments of highly-detailed representational realism offset by stylistically surreal interjections. Recurring themes include the exploration of humankind’s tenuous interaction with and coexistence within nature – especially impactful in our era of environmental depletion – and the generative possibilities of extreme displacement and exaggerated context.