October 17 – November 29, 2014
Artist Reception, October 18, 5 – 7 pm
First Friday, November 7, 6 – 8:30
LGTripp Gallery is pleased to present #aTourist, a solo exhibition of recent works by gallery artist Anthony Vega. He is from Philadelphia and this is his second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Anthony Vega’s latest body of work critically explores the concepts of tourism and place, while offering an unabashed homage to the joy of travel. Asking what it means to fully experience place, Vega intermixes the caught immediacy of his own travel snapshots with cacophonous overlays of familiar symbols that evoke the virtual ideals of the named locations. Inhabiting the role of tourist, Vega strives to reconcile the actual with the preconceived. This confrontation is the “simultaneous experience of panic and excitement in the unknown.” Vega’s concept is furthered through a series of collaborative works in which paintings of familiar tourist tropes are themselves photographed while traveling. Their presence points to the fact that the very ideas of travel and tourism are always situated within the actuality of a particular place. Indeed, Vega invites visitors to participate with his explorations of travel by themselves becoming tourists in the gallery. Not just a title, #aTourist is the digital forum for viewers to document and post their own snapshots, discoveries, and interactions with the exhibit online. A souvenir shop is included for the visitor’s shopping pleasure.
Using the panorama as their stricture, Vega’s sweeping, layered paintings pulse with energy and color. Blending media, he intermixes acrylic paints with stretched and cut pieces of fabrics. Bold flowers and stripes evoke both the known comfort of home and the expectancy of a suitcase packed with vibrant clothing. Swaths of brushwork—sparser than in his earlier work, but no less electric in hue— hint at and describe the particulars of place. Seemingly patchwork fragments suddenly reveal a structure or a word—figures that once discovered can no longer go unseen. The effect is both foreign and familiar. When confronted with Vega’s paintings, the viewer has expectations of place brought forth, dislocated, and reassembled.
Anthony Vega grew up in rural New Jersey. He studied philosophy and fine art at Saint Joseph’s University and earned an MFA from the University of Delaware. From there he went on to direct the UD@Crane, the University of Delaware’s Philadelphia gallery located at the Crane Arts building, and gain experience as a curator. His artistic practice is complemented by his work as an educator. He currently teaches studio, digital media, contemporary art theory, and media studies courses at the University of Delaware and Penn State Brandywine. Anthony Vega’s work is in private collections around the country. He exhibits his work regionally and nationally in galleries and museums.