GABRIEL THY · PAINTINGS ·THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2020

♦♦♦ View early paintings of Gabriel Thy.

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I AM A SELF-TAUGHT WORKING CLASS ARTIST, that is to say, one who paints without benefit of art school instruction or degree. Given the modest measure of lurking talents I have inherited for visual communication, I am inspired to work within the traditions established by 20th century French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) with his Art Brut and the German-born Max Beckmann, whose Neo-Expressionist paintings immediately appealed to me. With the organizing mystique of contemporary Pop Surrealism and some rough-jawed punk aesthethic thrown in for good measure, I create pctures from which I explore and recall my world of contradictions.

GIVEN THE CRAVEN OVERTONES of the contemporary worldstage this approach seems most appropriate on a playing field where political commentary is far less a matter of the thickly greased treatise but the sudden cold glare from a thug of a thousand stripes. And even though others might dismiss or embrace my work as outsider, naive, folk, lowbrow, or underground art, I consider it none of these things. My work is intrinsically political even as I loathe political art. Even so, I hide meaning and I expose meaning. I create mysteries of line and color, distorting the collusion between reality and propaganda, symbolism and randomness, quickening expression and dead panned emptiness.

IN MY EARLY FIFTIES, I live and work in the Washington, DC area, and in this context, I find myself continually drawn to the manifested contradictions of global society and our national angst. I use figurative but erratic line, rough texture and virilent color to speak of that battleground where art and politics beat each other up while few are they who seem the wiser.

BECAUSE I VIEW HISTORY and comptemporary culture as a freewheelin' exchange between truth and lie, honesty and cover-up, my paintinsg are an effort to expose the cliché as both prime soldier and stealth imposter of our times. The rough line of my hand and vibrant colors of my palette both appall and appeal to a generation lost to worldliness yet unable to secure refuge in this accelerated age on the brink of [FILL IN BLANK].