Few artists can take sensitive topics and successfully translate them into witty designs that are as playful as they are thoughtful commentary. Devin Troy Strother is a contemporary mixed media painter based in Los Angeles, and through his artwork he’s able to tell a tale about race where elements of pop culture are told through the lens of the African American experience.
Hailing from West Covina, California, the 29-year-old artist grew up in the television era of mid-to-late-’90s America where the golden days of MTV, Nickelodeon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have heavily influenced Strother’s work. Clever pieces like That’s my gurrrl Quiesha (2012), The Block Is Hot (2009), and bitch you gonna have to blink or smile cuz I can’t see shit in here (2013) depict dark-skinned Lilliputian figures in a variety of mixed medium — including acrylic, aluminum, wood, paper collage and auto-body paint — and have underlying themes that touch on both Strother’s personal experience as well as the ongoing conversation of racial identity in America.
We catch up with Strother in our latest installment of HBTV, which you can view above. His latest exhibition ”They Should’ve Never Given You N*ggas Money” (which takes its name from a legendary Rick James and Charlie Murphy comedy sketch from Dave Chappelle’s show) is currently being held at Richard Heller Gallery in LA until December 19. Explore more of Troy’s artwork over on his website and Instagram.
Richard Heller Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404