The Art of Troy Gua
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2008 to present

I imagine a future where the world is out of room. It’s a world where, in order to save space, even our thoughts, our memories, our nostalgia becomes distilled, consolidated, hybridized, and layered on top of itself.

‘Pop Hybrids’ are the reduction of personality into logo, the reduction of individuality into the collective, the reduction of photography into design. They are a subtraction of images: the recycling, re-using and reducing of two or more images into new iconography. As opposed to Warhol’s emphasis on repetition, this work negates the individual altogether and suggests that we are running out of space even for our cultural icons to retain a solo spotlight in our crowded collective conscience.

In antiquity, art was made to regale the gods, heroes, and myths of the day. Today, we regale celebrities, pop stars, actors and the characters they portray, artists, musicians, politicians and world leaders. Superficially, it's easy to label this body of work as a collection of 'pop art celebrity portraits', but they're more than that. They're modern day devotional images that deal with iconography, ironic duality and satirical juxtapositions. By layering together thoughtfully paired individuals, these pieces challenge the viewer to decipher the image while making sardonic, metaphorical and sometimes philosophical connections within the image.

The series began as meticulously hand-painted acrylic on canvas pieces, which were then sealed in a resin coating. They were meant to look as precise as manufactured products, and many assumed that they were. I found pride in that, but it also gave me a nudge to actually push the process in that direction. It made conceptual sense to incorporate streamlined production which, in turn, made the work more widely available as limited editions, each design in a low numbered run. Now actual hybrids, somewhere between man and machine made, the ‘Pop Hybrid’ series is now designed digitally, printed on archival metallic photographic paper optically face-mounted to museum grade acrylic and back-mounted to black sintra.

From Ross Lesko, Director of the Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery:

"Troy Gua is an artist whose work investigates identity, celebrity and popular culture. His Pop Hybrid series is a unique, superimposition of iconic faces and imagery, instantly recognizable on their own, but dissolved into a kind of Rorschach inkblot puzzle when merged—each viewer seeing something different, making his or her own subjective associations. The resulting hybrid image is a new and separate identity, functioning as irony and satire; as metaphor and social commentary. Each piece has its own narrative, whether humorous, poignant or intellectual."

©2008-2019 TROY GUA

Click on an image from the entire series below in alphabetical order: