Headlands Center for the Arts

Troy Chew

california | visual
Graduate Fellowship Program 2018—2019, California College of the Arts

Artist Statement

My work explores the African Diaspora within the urban culture. I’m interested in comparing and contrasting past African culture and traditions to Black culture through the depiction of black bodies and objects through oil paintings, drawings, and sculptures. I’m interested in dealing with language translation/mistranslation, black/urban life, and ideas of “high art” and “low art.” In my series Out the Mud, I plan to reference all African countries involved in the Transatlantic-slave trade. This series speaks to the rip in the cultural fabric of African Americans, and the several negative and positive paths taken to repair and continue the fabric. Slanguage is a reference to the colloquial speech rooted in urban areas. I am painting still lifes that deal with the linguistics of urban vernacular while contrasting my visual language to that used in Dutch and Flemish still lifes.

While at Headlands

During my time at Headlands, I will continue working and researching both my current series Out the Mud and Slanguage. Diving deeper into my exploration of African/American history, language, translation, imagination, interpretation, and Hip-Hop through painting and sculpture. Maybe even mess around with some new mediums along the way. I believe being at Headlands will be a great way for me to learn how these ideas can exist outside of school, while offering a breath of fresh air… literally.

Selected Works