Painting today is anything but dead. At VOLTA BASEL 2016 we exhibit three young painters from different continents who represent a fresh new vibrancy of global expression.
Li Daiyun, based in Beijing, brings us a unique approach in painting. Inspired by photography, Daiyun takes us on a visual journey. Each image that she paints is an emotional response to the digitalization of visual culture today. Using the language of painting, Daiyun experiments in multiple ways, dripping, gridding, pushing the paint to deconstruct and rethink the role of pixelization. She allows the pigments to mix and melt, inserting the element of chaos. She liberates the long tradition of photorealism so powerfully advocated by the likes of Chuck Close, leaving us with both the process and the result. Much like how Roy Lichtenstein focused on the importance of brush as “subject matter”, Daiyun has taken us a step further in this digital age of painting.
Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave paints honest humoristic works that satirize his own understanding of art history through black culture and sexual identity. He has a bold straightforward approach to creation. He takes us on a visual diary of his life as a student of art history, living in New York City as a gay black artist. Artists who explore the African context, which is partly a foundation for modernity, cannot be denied. Hargrave is one of these extraordinary talents who has developed an artistic ap- proach that encodes his identity and carves out a niche for himself and artists like him.
Aboudia’s multi-layered paintings offer simultaneity of images and meanings that conduct a discourse with each other and with the viewer. We are aware of the vivid, brutal pageant of contemporary Africa weav- ing before us like a fabric of consciousness — children, figures, skulls, African fetishes, flashes of street life — expressed with a naif vitality. The surfaces deploy fragments from bits of comic strips, magazine ads, newspaper images, set into the paintings’ overall compositions so as to suggest current events cohering through the imagination into a troubled and troubling vision. Aboudia’s strong brushwork and gift of cohesion transforms chaos into vitality, painful events to esthetic redemption, so one is able to see the whole as a changeable tide forever renewing hope.