Farley Aguilar Sees Demons in Gothic America
Estimate: $2,500. Based on antique found photographs, self-taught painter Farley Aguilar’s work explores questions of personal identity and its relationship to history, as well as themes of early 20th-century gothic Americana. This piece is a haunting study of death and decay, exploring the idea of a loss of innocence through maturity.
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Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Spinello Projects
Based on antique found photographs, self-taught painter Farley Aguilar’s figurative paintings explore questions of personal identity and its relationship to history, as well as themes of violence and early 20th-century gothic Americana. Painting over photographic group portraits so that the original figures are obscured, Aguilar creates unsettling, psychologically charged compositions in which his subjects appear to wear masks. “There is a very tense relationship between individuals and the society, community, or subculture they belong to,” he has said of his work. “Violence is a clear eruption of frustration, fear and anxiety within an American moral, conservative psyche that explodes in terror when confronted with the unknown.”
Nicaraguan, b. 1981