Benrimon Contemporary is pleased to announce It’s Not About You, Trey Speegle’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Using one of the world’s largest collections of vintage paint-by-number paintings as inspiration, Speegle explores themes of hope, love, longing and transformation by using affirmations, double entendre, and word play that resonate with a broad Pop appeal. Speegle reinvigorates the debate about what constitutes high brow and low brow art while galvanizing old 1950s ideas concerning the encroachment of mass culture into elite spaces. The affirmations expose the ready-made quality of these works, forcing viewers to reconsider their preconceived notions of kitsch, commercialism and fine art. In this exhibition, Speegle’s word play doubles as personal appeals that challenge the viewer to take responsibility for both private and universal shortcomings, as well as questioning the notion of “the world is as you see it.”
Moving away from the collage aesthetic that relied on vintage paint-by-number panels, Speegle has recently been focusing on creating large works on canvas. It’s Not About You, 2010 exemplifies his current body of work in which the paint-by-number line work is printed onto canvas and a palette is mixed and applied. Throughout this exhibition the word “you” appears in every work as a way to speak to the viewer and to allow a glimpse into the artist’s world-view and personal philosophies.
Look with Wonder that which is Before You, 2010, is a large scale installation comprised of multiple vintage framed paint-by-number works that appropriate imagery from art history and Pop culture. Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy, are represented alongside images of ballerinas and bullfighters. Speegle is all at once exploring the ramifications of mechanized culture while still celebrating its inclusivity and broad social reach.
A pop-up “store” will accompany the exhibition featuring sold-out items from Speegle’s recent collaborations with Fred Perry and Anthropologie Home such as polo shirts, soap sets, wooden puzzles, pillows, plates and wallpaper.
Speegle has spent the past two decades in publishing at periodicals such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Allure and Us Weekly. He returned to exhibiting five years ago. In 2009 Speegle was commissioned by Stella McCartney to create an 18’ x 32’ painting as a backdrop for her runway show in Paris. He divides his time between his Meatpacking District studio and a converted barn in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.