In our First Friday preview for the month of February, we somehow managed to miss that DC graphic/mixed media artist Alexander Key had a show of new paintings at Steady Sounds this month.
In our First Friday preview for the month of February, we somehow managed to miss that DC graphic/mixed media artist Alexander Key had a show of new paintings at Steady Sounds this month. Key has displayed artwork in Richmond before–also at a record store, coincidentally enough–when he presented a show called Joyride at Turnstyle back in 2012. This time, he’s got some more new works interpreting pop culture through his unique personal vision. Here’s his description of the show:
Classic Andy Warhol works are compositionally re-constructed and visually filtered through VHS tape tracking static. This added element defaces the original and comments on the integrity of appropriation and authorship of sampled works. Warhol’s 1964 portrait of Jackie Kennedy is remade numerous times and tweaked just enough to be considered “original.” The Smiths’ “The Queen is Dead” album cover is parodied as, the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson’s corpse is now the body laying down in the image adorned with the phrase “That’s It. The King is Dead.” Kanye West’s high school yearbook photo has been rendered in painterly dark and light variations mimicking polarized opinions of him, many people willingly indulge upon mere mention of his name. The juxtaposition of a fashion catalog cover girl with the text “Everyone tells me you are a fake, but i believe in you,” lifted from Linus’ letter to The Great Pumpkin in a “Peanuts” Halloween film, cleverly riffs on the perceived vapidity and fakeness of the modeling industry. In it’s sturdy grid format, each piece works to slowly piecemeal a larger context for the viewer.
Check out a brief preview of the show below, and go see the art up close and in person at Steady Sounds, located at 322 W. Broad St. anytime before the end of February.
See more of Alexander Key’s art at alexanderkeyart.com.