X O : A solo exhibition by Aay Preston-Myint
On view and in the gallery from September 21-November 3, 2019
Opening Night: Saturday, Sept 21, 7-9pm
Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm or by appointment
Artist Talk: Thursday, October 17, 7-9pm. This presentation is on the practices and research behind the work in X O is only something like an artist talk - a conversation around images annotated with music, or perhaps a mixtape listening party with slides. It is a rumination on the politics and affects of current events, navigating identity, pop culture, night life, and synaesthetics*
* "A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color."
Royal NoneSuch Gallery presents X O : A solo exhibition by Aay Preston-Myint encompassing distinct bodies of work: one of pieced fabric and collages as well as mark-based tactile works drawn directly on the wall using graphite, pigment, and metallic tape; and another series of works on paper that assemble gestures and marks taken from comic books. In conjunction with the exhibition there will be a special artist talk on Thursday, October 10, 7-9PM that is a direct link to his work being sourced from queer nighttime gathering spaces.
These textile works and wall drawings depict the air and light in empty rooms, stages, and dance floors in gay bars, dance venues and leather/sex clubs; and are inspired in turn by the murals and other vernacular art and architecture that are often present. Riding on the edge of abstraction, overlapping geometric shapes become floating curtains, the dark space of back rooms, reflections from mirrored walls and disco balls, smoke and spotlights, the curves and drapes of hanging chains and straps. Spaces we usually think of as bustling with movement and sensuality become vacant sites of contemplation, potentiality, and mourning of those passed; sites to project the self in order to access political, personal, and metaphorical lineages across space and time. Whose space is this, and what happens/happened here?
The second series of works on paper assemble gestures and marks taken from comic books, a key influence in the artist's development, to denote things that lack a physical presence, such as energy, sound, thought, and motion. While the motives for the work remain rooted in the personal contradiction of being and feeling both invisible and hyper-visible, the use of the reductive visual language of comic books takes the work further into abstraction and metaphor. However, the conceptual link remains in the effort to draw the memory of a space that once held bodies, or perhaps, a disembodied self.
As a queer person, and a person of color, and a person with HIV, Aay Preston-Myint is enamored, frustrated, and confused by ideas of representation: who gets to see themselves, and where.
Artist Bio Aay Preston-Myint is an artist, publisher, and arts administrator working in Oakland, California, and sometimes Chicago, Illinois, USA. His practice employs both visual and collaborative strategies to investigate memory and kinship, often within the specific context of queer community and history. In addition to his studio work, he is a founder of No Coast, an artist partnership that prints and distributes affordable contemporary artwork, is co-director of the Chicago Art Book Fair, and has served as a DJ and organizer for Chances Dances, a party supporting and showcasing the work of queer artists. Aay (pronounced like the letter 'A') currently works out of the studio collective Real Time and Space in Oakland, and is a Fellow at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley.