Casey Weldon and his felines are slinking omto San Francisco’s Recess Gallery for another solo exhibition entitled Catchall. In addition to Casey’s trademark thematic paintings, Catchall also includes Recess-exclusive prints and sticker sheets from the artist’s ongoing Love Cats series.
Artfully rendering light and neon colors, Weldon’s paintings appear uncannily backlit and digitally enhanced. Having spent many formative years in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Weldon’s vivid dreamscapes recall not only the flashy visuals and super-saturated displays throughout Hollywood and the Vegas Strip, but also outright adoration for our media-driven consumer culture. His surreal narratives, each luminous and electrifying, offer satirical commentary on the digital age and its exponentially absurd power over everyday lives – all through imagery of the digital age’s most beloved icon: the cat.
Humanized by culturally sensational “internet cats” (who could resist the I Can Has Cheezburger blog?), Weldon’s works are, essentially, visual puns, provoking dialogue about current issues–war, surveillance, digital consumerism, and social interactivity–but tendered by heartwarming cat references to help viewers find familiar comfort in these uncomfortable issues. Weldon’s feline-driven punchlines alleviate the inevitable detachment of an inescapable digital age of voyeurism, media saturation, and immediate consumption.
In addition to these punny panels, Weldon adds a new set of characters to his ongoing cast of musical Love Cats – just in time for Valentine’s Day. While some messages are soft and sweet: “Something Happens and I’m Head Over Heels” inspired by Tears for Fears and “When You’re Standing Oh So Near, I Kinda Lose My Mind” inspired by The Cars, most others can for a catfight: “I Want Your Soul, I Will Eat Your Soul” inspired by Aphex Twin and “Fuck You, I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” inspired by Rage Against the Machine. They are louder screams of anarchy, defiance, and disappointment more than tidings of love and affection–both a fun, edgy inversion of stereotypical Hallmark drivel, perhaps a cat’s point of view on love and war on Valentine’s Day.
Catchall opens February 8, 2020, with an opening reception from 6 to 9 pm, and is on view through February 29, 2020.