Walk across the road from the Gagosian Gallery‘s exhibition in Grosvenor Hill of contemporary self-portraits focussed on Rembrandt’s portrait from Kenwood House to the Almine Rech Gallery and there is a linked, but different focus, with colourful portraits of young people enjoying life, perhaps partying on a night out in a nearby club in Mayfair?
Chloe Wise (born 1990) hails from Montreal in Canada now lives in New York. Her work is bold and colourful, perhaps linked to fashion and graphic illustration, but look more carefully into the detail and you will find some surprises….
Her work has often teased the fashion industry. The paintings in her new exhibition ‘Not That We Don’t’ sit alongside everyday products of cleanliness and of sanitation – toilet rolls, disinfectant and the like – strange things to find in a Mayfair gallery -, with similar products appearing at odd corners of the paintings themselves.
Here we have colourful paintings of men and women enjoying themselves, but with sinister overtones of hands grabbing, controlling and pulling, appearing from all sides. Thus we have contradictions, between the focus on cleanliness and on well-groomed, well dressed people, enjoying life in the modern world, as we did a generation ago, and the dark sinister hints of being trapped in the world of fashion, nightclubs and complying with what is considered to be expected of you, which can at its worst lead you into a downward spiral of drugs, drink and other depressing agendas. It doesn’t take much to move between the light and the dark…..