Over the Influence is pleased to present Smoosh, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Royal Jarmon.
For Royal Jarmon’s first exhibition with Over the Influence, the Brooklyn-based painter presents a series of seemingly flattened, birds-eye view of cars. Abstracting perspective and movement, he reconfigures the vehicles appearance, taking on a curious position, as if a child dissecting the objects around them.
Reminiscing on his rural upbringing, where watching NASCAR was a staple form of entertainment, Jarmon rediscovers the action of the bright, logo-filled car collisions as metaphors for turbulent times in his life. The car crashes are humorous, but dark, conveying the beauty that can accompany life’s difficulties.
More recently his interest in this subject segued into other automobiles pulled from specific memories – the taxis that drained his wallet, being new in NYC and missing the train; the wood-grained caravan he traveled the country in after wrecking his own first car. He unfolds each artwork as if creating a texture map of the vehicle, a full 3-D covering for each memory.
First explored by the Futurists as a celebration of modernity, artistic desiring of machines was deconstructed with the rise of Pop Art. But as Royal’s work reveals, while his use of bright attention-grabbing colors connote consumerism, his subjects can have a much more personal significance, and the decisive distortions add a layer of cynicism to otherwise Pop-y subject matter. The cars are merely facilitating the artist’s investigation of popular culture, human experience, and our relationship to both simultaneously.