Troy Chew's 'Yadadamean' Solo Exhibition Highlights Bay Area Culture Through Oil-Painted Still Lifes

A reflection on the important role Black culture plays in shaping mainstream aesthetics.

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Arts
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California born and raised artist Troy Chew is set to premiere Yadadamean, his first solo exhibition of oil paintings at CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions in San Francisco, running October 17 through December 5. The collection highlights the important role Black culture continues to play in shaping mainstream aesthetics while also recognizing the historical exclusion of Blackness in Western art.

The showcase is a continuation of Chew’s Slanguage series which references colloquialisms rooted in Black linguistics. Yadadamean stems from “You know what I mean?” The artist’s still lifes repurpose everyday items ranging from spilled Coke bottles and chocolate cake to Runts candy and an alarm clock. “Ghost Rider” focuses on a pair of YEEZYs. “Ball Street Journal” plays with traditional still life construction while adding white bread, slices of American cheese and piling bills. He handles each object in his paintings with nuance in an effort to combat the stereotypes associated with them.

“Chew’s paintings also recall the genesis and evolution of Hip Hop, a genre that has faced ongoing appropriation and whitewashing. The originators of Hip Hop developed and used specific language to communicate shared experiences,” a press release detailed. “Hip Hop, and countless other forms of Black expression, exist as incubation spaces for storytelling and community building. Yaddamean challenges this ongoing erasure—the proliferation and sometimes co-opting of language—with skillful iconography that recreates a safe space for language and culture to thrive.”

Head to the CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions official website for more details. Elsewhere in art, KAWS’ 20-foot-tall bronze WHAT PARTY installation now guards New York’s Seagram Building.

CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions
1217 B Fell St
San Francisco, CA 94117
October 17 – December 5, 2020

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