Opening this evening at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, John Brophy’s solo show “The Saddest Heart on the Holy Mountain” features a new, surreal series of oil paintings on mounted paper that explore the continuity between European art history and the digital age. Though hand painted, Brophy’s figures are based on 3D-modeling software and have a computerized look that stands in contrast to the many pre-internet art historical allusions in his work. One piece features a floating urinal as a shout out to Marcel Duchamp while another work includes a lollipop with an icon-like portrait of Jesus holding a credit card. Brophy’s accumulations of discordant imagery alludes to the “anything goes” mentality of today’s art world and posits science and capitalism as the religions of Western society today.
Opening alongside “The Saddest Heart on the Holy Mountain,” Stacey Rozich’s (featured in HF Vol. 27) solo show “Shrine” responds to our culture’s collective anxiety about death with images that blend references to various forms of folk art, such as South American textile patterns and Eastern European headdresses and tunics. In contrast to Brophy’s digitized perfectionism, Rozich’s gouache and watercolor paintings retain the unpolished qualities of handmade craft. Her paintings feature regal characters journeying into a world beyond, with trickster spirits jovially accompanying their entry into the afterlife.
Stacey Rozich and John Brophy’s solo shows open tonight, December 4, and will be on view through January 3.