The “Unusual Circumstances” Seen by Travis Louie

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Harman Projects, NYC // October 07, 2023 – October 28, 2023

Harman Projects is pleased to present Unusual Circumstances, a solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Travis Louie. This will be the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery.

Clad in the waistcoats and high neck bodices of a bygone era, Travis Louie’s human, animal and in-between subjects co-exist in an alternate past. Referencing Victorian and Edwardian-era clothing, utilizing vintage style picture framing, and skillfully mimicking in paint and graphite the aesthetic of early portrait photography processes, the artist creates a world that is familiar at first glance yet entirely foreign upon closer inspection.

Louie’s surreal portrait-based practice is supplemented by the conception and documentation of elaborate and imaginative narratives written about each piece. In their own right, each image sparks a range of questions regarding the subject and their world, however the accompanying text helps guide the viewer on a more dynamic journey that provides a unique insight and begs even further inspection of the work.

Making subtle statements regarding prejudice and the immigrant experience, Louie hopes that the fear of “the other” can be replaced by a curiosity for the unknown and a respect for the unfamiliar. In Louie’s painting The Discovery of the Hand, (pictured above) a boy holds the giant severed hand of a man who was driven out of his town by angry villagers. The artist contemplates on mob mentality, quick to spread fear and violence, noting that if we were to stop to recognize the similarities we have with others outside of our communities the world would be a much kinder place.

Please join the gallery on Saturday, October 7th at 210 Rivington Street, New York, NY for the opening reception of Unusual Circumstances from 6pm to 8pm.

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