Cheryl Hazan Gallery will exhibit recent work by New York artist, Trey Speegle. Combining text and vintage paint-by-number imagery, the show consists of twenty original works including drawings, silkscreens, mixed-media collages and paintings.
A unique mix of commercial and fine art has characterized Speegle’s diverse career. The Texas-born artist was part of the nascent East Village art scene, designing catalogues for art galleries, producing downtown club events and curating various shows. For the past 25 years, he has art directed and designed for many publications including Vogue, Vanity Fair and Us Weekly.
In the early ‘90’s, he organized comedy writer Michael O’Donoghue’s paint-by-number exhibit at Bridgewater/ Lustberg Gallery. That seminal exhibit led to a re-examination of paint-by-numbers that flowered into a retropective at the Smithsonian Museum in 2001, featuring numerous paintings Speegle inherited from O’Donoghue. He has since expanded that original collection from 250 to 2500 and now draws from it as raw source material and inspiration.
The themes of hope, love, longing and loss are explored by Speegle and by using affirmations, double entendre, and word play he makes them resonate with a broad Pop appeal. The iconic imagery of the four seasons repeated in the large work, IT’S NOW OR NOW magnify its immediacy. The large multi-panel collage UH-OH! employs hundreds of tiny paint-by- number painting reproductions from vintage catalogues embedded in paint over a silkscreened forest on black to express a worryied wit and a sculptural folding screen spells out inverted advice in NEVER LOOK OR… YOU’LL NEVER LEAP.