Troy Lovegates. The King and the Artist.

Ask a room full of artists living here in New York if anyone every feels like a chump for making soul-sucking mediocre commercial work just to pay the jacked up rent. Hands will fill the air like ‘Amen’s at the Brooklyn Tabernacle at a Sunday morning sermon. Compound the cost of live/work space with the fact that, if you were lucky enough to get an education, your student loans debts are like a massive cinderblock around your neck. Many of today’s artists are expecting to labor long hours doing commercial or corporate art for years, often now without benefits or security – leaving them with ever-less time and energy to build a career, let alone a body of artistic work.

Troy Lovegates (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist Troy Lovegates is colorfully skewering the King in this County of Kings with his new surreally comedic metaphor called “The King and the Artist”, painted directly on the wall at the Kunsthalle Galapagos Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn.  Like days of olde when the Church and Royalty held the purse for most creative expression, the 99% is waking up these days to the unholy marriages that wield growing influence over the entire cultural and institutional landscape, including areas of creative expression. With “The King”, Lovegates depicts a well equipped megaspender imperiously dictating what will be art and claiming it as his own with his platinum sword waving wildly while the barefoot creator, a mind bubbling with a multitude of other ideas, tries to fend himself with tools laughably inadequate.

Troy Lovegates (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s a tug of war that is historical and contemporary of course – from faux communist capitalists to gold encrusted power families to religious gangs gilded in sanctity, artists have always procured the propaganda and painted a world view according to someone else’s vision. With signs ever more obvious around us, Mr. Lovegates informs us here that the game is still the same and some young artists are painfully aware of the rigged class system they’re working within.  Hopefully someone will buy it.

Troy Lovegates (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Troy Lovegates (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Troy Lovegates. No he doesn’t paint with his eyes closed. He closes his right eye when he paints details and when he is drunk. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Troy Lovegates (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Troy Lovegates (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Ocean Size”, a group show, is currently on view at the Kunsthalle Galapagos Gallery. Click here for further information.

 

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