Pop Presence focuses on contemporary artwork that is directly and deliberately situated on a Warholian/Pop trajectory. With reference to moments and practices in Andy Warhol’s career, artists are drawing on his lineage and exploring parallel subjects and methods of production in new ways and with a distinct fervor. Both historical and material connections give nod to the legacy of Pop, while highlighting current artists using the language and iconography of Pop and commercial culture.
Featuring artwork by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Roy Lichtenstein, alongside Jamie Earnest, Barbara Smith, Mao Li, Pure Evil, Travis K. Schwab, and more, Pop Presence is a stimulating thread to tie these artists to one another, and to link their practices to those of American Pop. Jamie Earnest’s work evokes memory, history, and architecture through dream-like interiors, while referencing Pop and Postmodernism. Earnest has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and completed a sought-after painting fellowship at Yale Norfolk School of Art in 2015. Her recent work was displayed alongside Warhol, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mr. Chow, and Ed Ruscha in Exposures at The Andy Warhol Museum this year.
Pure Evil is a London-based UK street artist (AKA Charles Uzzell-Edwards) has produced paintings and original screen prints in his well-known series, Hollywood Nightmares, shown in galleries the world over. Pure Evil investigates the depths and disasters of Utopian dreams and takes stimulation from Warhol’s celebrity and self-portraits.MAO LI | A recent implant to Houston from China, Mao Li holds a BFA from Sichuan Fine Arts College and MA from Chongqing University. He is known for his fine art photography, mixed media paintings and works on paper utilizing skilled application of gilded writing in Mandarin and English combined with brilliant religious and Pop icons and a visual exploration of global brands.
Barbara Smith | Hailing from Brittany, this Irish-French graduate of Goldsmiths in London includes visual references to popular culture, comics, as well as a distinctive and recurrent theme of death and mortality. Her recent work has been exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris and featured in an exclusive photo shoot for Louis Vuitton.
Travis Schwab’s portraits of Warhol and his own Polaroid-based paintings were presented in his solo show at The Andy Warhol Museum in 2015. This primarily colorblind artist has been assembling a body of paintings that look to Warhol and other major artists’ enduring place in history, as well as film and other visual media. Schwab’s work is ethereal, mysterious, and displays an altered realism that takes issue with our image-saturated society.