David Humphrey emerged in New York in the early 1980s with paintings that mix-mastered cartoons, TV, porn, and art history. He was called a Pop Surrealist, along with David Salle and George Condo, but Humphrey was on a distinct direction all along, composing a richly layered self-narrative guided in turns by erotic fixation and quirky transgressiveness.
Humphrey's recent paintings of puppy-pawed nurses and quarreling snowmen, and his post-yard sale sculptures, may seem jokey at first, but the more you take in, the more the melange of events and figures becomes provocative and unsettling. In this March 2007 visit in his lower Manhattan studio, Humphrey talks about his works in progress, like "Side Street in Majorca," an "inscrutable billboard" that manages to reference aging, race, sex, sadness, fame, fashion and Modernism through a set of daring pictorial maneuvers. Major Humphreys deliver similar startling orchestrations of images and ideas, baffled self-representations and oddly resonant cultural references.
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