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Arless Day
Augen Gallery (DeSoto Building), Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Arless Day, "London Flat," 2015, gouache and collage, 16 x 14 3/8"

Continuing through August 1, 2015

Working in the lineage of mixed-media collages by Romare Bearden and David Hockney, Arless Day turns photographs and gouache into sprawling, sumptuous tableaux. Culling source material from magazines and art books, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based artist splices, dices, and re-contextualizes disparate images into contiguous landscapes and interior studies. By judiciously applying paint to unify each composition, he creates optically believable (although often physically impossible) composite spaces.  


The fields dotted by poppies and calla lilies that surround the manor house in “A Day in the Garden” and the gowns hanging in a luxurious closet in “London Flat” show Day in his métier. These pieces are like Architectural Digest spreads re-imagined by a Cubist with just enough winky self-referentiality to transcend their unabashed decorativeness. Depictions of animals in “Best Friends” and “Perched Along the Bridge” are more populist in their appeal but lack the panache of the architectural studies. Day seamlessly integrates creamy gouache with the photography to conjure artificial environments that are spatially plausible, yet uncanny.

Augen Gallery

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