Pop surrealist Philip Slagter returns to the Los Angeles art scene with a new collection of acrylic paintings this weekend. In a new show dubbed “The Comeback,” the 70-year-old’s new works are teeming with pop culture, historical, and religious images. The show runs at La Luz De Jesus Gallery from May 5 through May 28, and references the artist’s travels and can be seen as a “historical mash-up that reflects different eras of kitsch rendered authentically, whether the style is graffiti, anime, ’50s cartoons or hyper-realism,” the gallery says.
In these new paintings, the artist also dwells on the nature of belief. ““A lot of people think we’re here on this planet as a physical being and that maybe we can be lucky enough to have a spiritual experience,” he says. “I’m a proponent of exactly the opposite idea: we’re a spiritual being that gets to have an earthly experience. That experience is to learn and is to teach.”
The artist, often labeled as a “first-generation pop surrealist,” emerged as a staff artist at New York Magazine in the 1970s, alongside his burgeoning personal career. On his work lately, the artist says he’s “looking at what people are believing, and what people are being subjected to … I don’t believe it, but I don’t disbelieve it.”