The Art of Troy Gua



The blank canvases allude to a pre-9/11 America: physically untouched and with an assumption of safety. They refer also to ivory towers, the number 11, and they refer to a pause button. The use of the paper airplane (also made of canvas) serves as the mark maker and relates to the first stroke, the moment that everything changes in an artwork, and metaphorically, the moment that everything changed in our collective American psyche; the moment that our lives were paused while we watched the day unfold. It refers to innocence and evokes a quality of authority subversion, like the throwing of a paper plane in a classroom when the teacher's back is turned.

The work is seemingly waiting to be touched, offering an opportunity to express the emotions we had at that moment, that we have now, years later. It's an invitation to pause that moment and color in what we feel about the events of September 11, 2001.

Regarding this piece, a friend asked me "What is the response you want to elicit from people? One of shock or one of memorial or one of compassion?" I want to elicit all of those responses (and more), just as the event did. One emotion can lead to the next. I want people to think about the work as it refers to the event and decipher what it represents to them in their own personal and emotional languages.