Company Gallery presents a three-person exhibition featuring new works by Jean-Baptiste Boyer, Chris Lloyd and Marsha Pels.
Jean-Baptiste Boyer’s masterfully rendered portraits and still lifes in the style of classic Renaissance painting offer a profound glimpse into a generation navigating the intricacies of youthful existence. In one piece, a female figure graces the canvas, adorned in a Heavy Metal band tee, her smile contrasting against a somber, melancholic darkness. In other works, Boyer weaves elements of the natural world with contemplations of mortality. Par nature destructeur (2017) which translates to "inherently destructive," presents a sepia-toned composition featuring three lifeless birds. This evocative tableau reflects upon the intricate layers of existence and the transient nature of life itself.
Similarly, Chris Lloyd re-contextualizes art historical motifs to explore fragments of the past, weaving them into compelling new and fantastical futures. In a new series of multimedia works on view, the artist constructs his vision around the allegorical power of the phoenix, the immortal bird who is forever reborn out of its ashes. Lloyd delves deeper into this symbolic journey of growth and renewal through the assemblage of disparate images, textures and symbols, employing different techniques such as sewing and laser cutting to meld them together. Each work navigates the essential stages of metamorphosis: the fiery release of the old self, the resurrection into a new identity, and the enigmatic interim where potential simmers.
While Marsha Pels draws inspiration from her autobiography as a creative catalyst, her enigmatic and at times ominous interpretations of figures and narratives become open-ended metaphors that possess a tangible, impactful presence. Like the other two artists on view, Pels incorporates elements from her personal life and historical research. In Towards Bethlehem (2021) Pels ingeniously combines a cast iron playground pony with a meticulously crafted steel replica of the walker she relied on during her recovery from a hip replacement in the early days of the pandemic. A powerful commentary on the perils of heightened militarization, she integrates a gas mask made from WWII gas masks, her old welding apron and her recently deceased dog, Bingo’s, leash and bases the design on images of WWI chemical warfare gas masks used for animals, particularly horses and donkeys.
Jean-Baptiste Boyer (b. 1990, Versailles, France) lives and works in Paris, France.
Chris Lloyd (b. 1994, Albuquerque, NM) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Marsha Pels (b. 1950, Brooklyn, NY) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.