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Biography

Darryl Westly is a mixed media artist and curator whose paintings layer hyperrealism, architectural elements with idealized landscapes and art historical references. Westly graduated from Pratt Institute as a sculpture major and holds a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and the Arts. A former assistant to celebrity pop artist Jeff Koons, the Chicago-born painter currently works alongside the art collective Bruce High Quality in Brooklyn and in his studio in Manhattan. He has curated shows for Christie’s Auction House, FiveMyles and Miranda Kuo, and most recently was commissioned to design a Digital watch for Fossil.

 

The artist uses bright, tropical colours to capture the sentiment of the American dream, which he titles his first series of work. The vibrant florals and well-constructed architectural designs imply a pleasurable and much-needed vacation from the quotidian life, taking the viewer on a journey into a coastal destination. However, Westly took a stance on the national ethos, “the legend of American exceptionalism and the reality of current of events has created a steep contrast between the dream and reality of what this country really represents throughout the world today.” He started with foods, particularly the most popular foods in America as recorded by internet trends and decided to paint the early images in a photorealist style that recalls mass-market consumerist advertisements. Eventually he began to use those images found within popular design and travel magazines after being struck by the often-colonizing language used to exotify certain countries while regaling others.

 

Through his work, Westly shows impressive variety in style, as his second collection of work is vastly different from his more standard work. His second series, The Sleepless has been by extension a diary or catalogue of his time maturing in New York city where the paintings are more ostentatious, with flashy neon fluorescent lights lighting up the night of the urban city. For the new series interior/exterior ‘landscapes’, Westly uses the streets, walls and architecture of Beirut as his inspiration. Colour, voids, shadows and light merge to create a perspective to the past, present and future of the city.

 

Darryl Westly’s works have been exhibited in London, Athens and across USA. In 2016, he was awarded a residency with Beirut Art Residency, Lebanon. 

 

 

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