Tria Gallery is pleased to announce “Atomic Vision”, an exhibit of pop art paintings by emerging artists Justin West, Ryan Cronin and Johnny Taylor.
Atomic Vision presents hard-edged, cartoon style paintings by three young male artists. Each of the artists breathes new life into iconic American cultural images and characters. The raw, almost child-like appearance of the works brings a humorous twist to bear on certain contemporary issues. With a keen sense of composition, instinctive brushstrokes and vibrant palettes, the striking images of all three artists both provoke and entertain.
Atomic Vision showcases six acrylics on canvas by Justin West which range from mid-sized to large. Ryan Cronin is exhibiting three large works, all rustoleum on board, and Johnny Taylor is exhibiting four smaller, mixed media works. The collective works of the three rely upon broadening the ideas behind the animated characters and iconic images depicted; a psychological evaluation is often embedded within the work. But despite the inherent irony of some of the pieces, the mood remains light, the tone humorous, the feeling warmly nostalgic. The hope of the artists is that viewers will experience a new perception of – or sudden insight into – a familiar subject, and will enjoy themselves in the process.
West is a contemporary painter from Harlem, NY, who is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most promising young artists in New York. At 22, he has already exhibited his work in a two person exhibit at Harlem’s Renaissance Fine Art Gallery entitled “Dope Art – Urban Pulse”. He was recently shown in the Mickey Factz video “For the culture” (featuring Marsha Ambrosius) as well as a “featured artist” on the ThNBRHD site. Mr. West’s work “Mankind for Dummies” was featured on The Today Show with Matt Lauer.
West states that in his work is about “mixing opposites” and making “worlds collide”. Drawing from a wide spectrum of inspirations, West’s paintings deal with subjects as diverse as popular cartoon characters, religion, technology and Greek mythology. From a more global perspective, he says he paints about “tales of defeat and triumph” as well as “oppression and celebration”.
Ryan Cronin studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and subsequently received his BFA from SUNY Purchase in 1998. Cronin explains that when people look at his work, he wants them to “feel an immediate impact, even if they’re not sure what hit them.” His visually captivating paintings have a child-like and innocent quality, to be sure, but that belies an underlying vision that is more complex and provocative. His work is filled with double entendres and tongue-in-cheek references, and viewers will delight in the powerful, raw, bold images, as well as the underlying messages. He hopes to take the viewer on a “lyrical journey full of free association and surprise”. Cronin’s work has been exhibited in dozens of galleries and art fairs throughout the country, including Art Miami Basel 2011.
Born in Helena, Arkansas, Johnny Taylor grew up in and around Memphis. Early inspirations were MAD Magazine, Star Wars, and the rock band KISS. These constant inspirations led Taylor to a job producing a weekly comic strip at the age of 10. Thus encouraged, the young cartoonist determined that he would always make art. He began painting as a student at the University of Memphis, where he received a BFA in Art History in 1996. Taylor has been showing paintings regularly ever since. He has not strayed from the hard-edged cartoon style that marked his initial efforts.