Hunter Ney & Alex Petty
November 19 – December 10, 2020
New York City has long been home to the spooky and the strange––to lore and legends of ghosts and goblins, slimy creatures that lurk the tunnels and tracks beneath the streets, creepy crawlers that inhabit the nooks and crannies of the city’s darkest corners waiting for the light to fade. Rats rule from below, gargoyles gaze down from the building facades above, and no matter how polished the block may seem, no one is safe from the supernatural.
Tea World, a joint exhibition at WHAAM! featuring New York-based artists Alex Petty and Hunter Ney, turns a light-hearted lens on the gritty and the grotesque, offering a comical, romanticized take on the gruesome monstrosities of the city.
Alex Petty, an illustrator, painter and tattoo artist, has always been intrigued by fantastical characters and creatures that play on themes of the evil and horrific. Reimagining them in a playful, cartoonish aesthetic reminiscent of Goosebumps or Scooby-Doo, he often renders his creations in neon and pastel tones of yellow, green, and pink, in a style uniquely his, subverting the spooky with humorous undertones.
Hunter Ney is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York originally from the Bay Area, whose work has been primarily rooted in transforming and augmenting pre existing characters, symbols, and signs to create new worlds of his own, often fictional scenes that border on the surreal.
In this new body of work for Tea World, Ney begun exploring a new technique using Cyanotype, a photographic printing process that produces cyan-blue prints that involves transferring chemicals onto watercolor paper exposed to UV light––a process used in the 20th century by engineers to copy drawings that would become known as “blueprints.” Ney had always been curious about the technique, wanting to achieve these deep and strong blue hues — this new medium demonstrates his versatility and evolution as an artist, and allows him to continue to test the art world’s hierarchy of taste.
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