I read up on a lot of conspiracy theory articles because I often doubt about the actions I see in this world. As a part of the human race, we are all pushed into an ever changing spectrum of ‘life’ by those who are gifted with wise and powerful minds, and like a herd of sheep we run into the current reality through outrageously different ways which was never the case in the past.
Of course, with gains there’s always a cost, and with what that seems to be mindless in fact comes with a level of stress. We talk, we walk, we engulf, and we be engulfed. In our current era where the media has greatly penetrated into our lives, there is no way that we can deny we are not being morphed by the informations which are force fed daily into our minds. What is the most nerve wrecking, is that most of us don’t even realize it.
Alex Gross, an artist currently based in Los Angeles, California have just hosted his 4th solo exhibition at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York earlier this month. His works clearly depicts my point. Overly whelming with advertisements and propaganda, he transform what is in fact our daily lives into horrifically beautiful paintings on the canvas. It might appear extravagant with his choice of colours and the tightly packed context within each single frame, but these 4o paintings that are compiled into his “Future Tense” collection are not at all different from the reality we are currently experiencing.
Without a single clear space in his paintings, the viewers’ minds are literally occupied by the vision of his works. Much like our current life, these technologies, news and cityscapes are things that we can not escape from. Interesting point here though, is that barely anyone thinks that these are things which we should have a choice in deciding if we want to accept or not.
By blowing such familiar scenes up into works that borderlines a fantasy-like portrayal, ideas such as consumerism, industrialization and media are vividly being commented by his works. The repetitions being used in his paintings also suggest a never ending cycle, making his works only a record of a static moment in time rather than a conclusion of what that has happened, increasing the uneasiness one might have whilst viewing the paintings because it makes us doubt about our existence in the present and how long this phenomenon of ‘having too much’ will persist.
Even a bit psychedelic and challenging for the mind to calmly understand, the subjects Gross proposes are so real yet so fake, so important yet so often neglected. Which is why his in-your-face execution has really caught my eyes and grasped my mind into evaluating what is really happening to our world. What more are artworks suppose to do than exactly that?