Lyles & King is pleased to present Bad Color Book, the New York solo debut of Farley Aguilar.
Aguilar is a self-taught painter born in Nicaragua and now living in Miami. He bases his compositions on antiquated, found photographs and transforms them into potent evocations of our current moment of political unrest and populist anger. In the seven large scale paintings comprising Bad Color Book, he uses anonymous historical images taken during the Great Depression and Weimar Germany. With oil, oil crayon, and graphite, his jagged, electric line reflects the danger and intensity of his subjects, and channels the ghosts of Edvard Munch, James Ensor, and Otto Dix. Those artists’ preoccupation with crowds, their capacity to be violent, hateful, and irrational, is suddenly timely. The crossed out eyes, distorted heads and ears and sewed up mouths of Aguilar’s figures speak to a brutalized and brutal public. The time-consuming, labour-intensive paintings integrate a number of techniques to activate their surfaces: he draws with paint straight from the tube, slashes with a brush, rends the surface with stray metal screws or glass. The resulting works oscillate between voluptuous impasto and dry, violent scratches, fierce line-work, and manic swatches of pungent color. There’s also humor in the twisted, dead-eyed faces of his figures that harkens back to Goya’s Los caprichos. It’s a humor that laughs, weeps, and rages in exasperation.
Lyles & King (press release)