Troy Chew: WWJZD
May 3–June 8, 2019

In rap, slang proliferates. Troy Chew is an avid listener and student of the genre, teasing out coded meanings across complex lyrical wordplay. As the lexicon sharpens in his ear and mind, Chew groups objects that carry particular definitions into distinctive still life paintings informed and agitated by Dutch and Flemish masters. The result is an assemblage of assorted artifacts that have likely never shared pictorial space on canvas, nor in real life–each painting a surreal visual dictionary for an ever-evolving musical language fundamental to his life and practice. All works in WWJZD, his first solo exhibition, include literal representations of words related to guns.

Troy Chew (b. 1992, Hawthorne, CA) received an MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2018. He is a current Graduate Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts and is based in Berkeley, CA.

Photography by John Wilson White