FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Carolyn Kramer, Founder and Gallery Director
Painter DAVE HAY on Bears, Pop Art, and Gay Culture
June 2016, Provincetown, MA: JO HAY OPEN STUDIO GALLERY is pleased to represent Massachusetts-based artist Dave Hay. Hay creates vivacious large-scale paintings characterized by dazzling colors and graphic words and phrases. His work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions across the country and is held in private collections worldwide. Working out of his studio in a converted textile mill, Hay uses stencils, acrylic, spray paint, glitter, and enamel to fill canvases with expressions of pure pop and gay pride.
“I seek to create art that confronts you, using color, space, shape, and typography to make an engaging and thought provoking visual experience,” Hay says, noting inspirations that range from Andy Warhol and Christopher Wool to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Banksy. “I am trying to convey a sense of humor, wonderment, and joy! I like viewers to look at my work and smile, feeling a special second of intrigue.”
Hay’s paintings palpitate with joie de vivre and a playful sense of mischief. He channels his college years in the nineteen-eighties to infuse his practice with the energy of the first MTV generation: alternative and punk music, fashion, pop art, street art. His word paintings layer letters over letters, some stenciled backwards and others overlapping in a rainbow of neon hues. Drips and splatters give each canvas dynamic excitement and personality, contrasting with the rigid sign-like quality of the stenciled words.
These paintings can be difficult to read at first glance, which engages the viewer to look closer for sly and sexy surprise messages: song lyrics, propositions, “Smurfs and Rainbows,” “Cock and Balls,” “Provincetown Love.” Viewing Hay’s art is like leaning in to hear a conversation over loud dance music: you miss every other word but the ones you catch are alluring.
“I think that in a meaningful way, all that I create as a gay man represents my perspective and view point on gender identity and sexuality,” Hay writes.
“I strongly identify with the bear subculture within the gay community and want to celebrate it.” In 15 Minutes of Gay, Hay pays homage to Warhol’s infamous depictions of red soup cans, substituting Campbell’s flavors with phrases ranging from sexual nicknames to cultural slang, from historical references to the fight for gay rights. Thus the viewer reads labels for Muscle Bear Soup, Diva Soup, B&D Soup, and Peace, Love, and Equality Soups in one giant digital print as large as an ad at a bus stop. Perhaps the artist puts it best: “Gay culture and popular culture are inseparable.”
Founded in 2014, the JO HAY OPEN STUDIO GALLERY is a contemporary art gallery located in Provincetown, MA. Carolyn Kramer, Founder and Gallery Director, with her life partner, painter Jo Hay, have a clear vision and bold new approach to the art scene in Provincetown. The gallery’s mission is to exhibit contemporary painting and conceptual art that challenges the viewer’s intellect and imagination.
JO HAY OPEN STUDIO GALLERY is located at 167 Commercial Street in Provincetown and is open seven days a week. For more information visit johayopenstudio.com or call 508.776.0503.