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About Devin Troy Strother

Born: 1986, California, USA

Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York


2010 ME Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan
BFA Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

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Devin Troy Strother

Practice: painting / collage

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 Loud, irrepressible and humourously tongue in cheek, Devin Troy Strother's collages portray social worlds and situations suggested by snatches of written and verbal narrative.

Acccording to the artist, his sassily anecdotal titles "come before the work is made" and suggest the content itself: " ... It starts with a phrase or a title, and I try to generate an image that relates to the whole narrative, this world that I'm trying to make. The titles come from things I hear in rap songs or things I hear family members say, things friends say."

Yet despite the undeniable charm of the resulting images, their narrative content is far from uniformly playful, frequently alluding to urban realities such as drug-dealing and gang warfare.

Additionally - and controversially - Troy Strother's depiction of African Americans self-consciously incorporates various stereotypes; his own claim that "I feel it's interesting that people are going to come to my work with all their associations of how they see African Americans" insufficient justification, for some, for the satirical adoption of tropes such as the 'minstrel', or 'blackface'.

In recent works, some of the flamboyant excess of his earlier practice has been supplanted by more constrained composition and colour, as well as greater engagement with the formal possibilities of his craft.

In particular, devices such as 'shelving' for individually created pictorial elements recall the work of fellow LA-born artist Amanda Ross-Ho and her own expansion of collage into disciplines such as bricolage and installation.

This melding of an undeniable vitality with more considered production further enhances Troy Strother's status as an important new American voice: one which, as half-hidden signage in 'The Block is Hot' cheekily suggests, at its best really is An Academy IV Atomic Alchemy.

Added Nov 2011

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