Troy-Anthony Baylis: I Wanna Be Rich

12 March

April 6, 2024

Jan Manton Gallery

‘I wanna be rich’ features episodes from 2 bodies of work: a suite of reconstructed Glomesh and faux-mesh sculptures from the Postcard series and oil on linen works called Immediacy Paintings. The title is a tongue-in-mouth-cheek fantasy amidst the reality that visual artists are almost always broke. ‘I wanna be rich’ is also coined from the 1989 song of the same name by US R&B duo Colloway.

The Postcard series sits within a raft of the artist’s work that has refashioned notions of dress and address, connected queer and Blak in ways that unsettle racial taxonomies, offering shimmering new spectacles of resistance and connection. His work comes into being through a laborious process of sourcing Glomesh items in thrift stores or via deceased estates and then unpicking, reordering, rewriting and ultimately refiguring the relationship of this ‘iconic Australian’ camp material with queered Blak Australia. Repetitively crafted, each Postcard references Aboriginal breastplates and whilst exploring place names, Country, Indigeneity, and colonial histories, the series also traverses the queer aesthetics of drag queens, jewellery and disco.

Each text of the Immediacy Paintings articulates seemingly mundane moments, slogans, thoughts and aspirations. The arrangements of words on the canvas are petroglyphic, sometimes subtle, sometimes stark. The phrases can appear as non-sequiturs, but gradually their layers as cultural connections manifest, revealing multivalent readings. These oily play-areas are sites for colliding cultural matter, making references to all kinds of interests, all sorts of subjects. They transform the personal and the political into either truth or humour or both.

Opening Drinks: Friday 15 March, 6 – 8 pm

In Conversation: Thursday 28 March, 6 for 6:15 pm start with resident philosopher Alain Guillemain

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