Last night I attended the oepning of artist Chris Woods' new exhibit, "Sandstorm", at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC. It was a terrific night full of intriguing art and stimulating conversation. The Reach describes Chris's exhibit this way:
In his first solo museum exhibition, Chris Woods' Sandstorm is a collection of 14 epic-scale paintings that will tackle the most important movies in the history of pop-culture:the original Star Wars Trilogy.
These paintings will ask the question: What if we saw the events of Star Wars through the eyes of its main antagonist, Darth Vader?
Sandstorm will take stylistic inspiration from the 19th century French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix and will be based on scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy. These oil paintings on canvas will look, darkly, through Vader’s artificial eyes at the heroes, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.
To Vader, these heroes must have appeared in his nightmares as shadowy figures that had but one mission: see Vader dead and everything he built destroyed.
Chris's previous works have been marked by hyperrealism and an ironic, if not overtly critical, stance toward consumerism and popular culture. (See, for example, Royal Treats, Chris's take on fast food culture.) While the Star Wars phenomenon is certainly ripe for the latter treatment, Chris has eschewed both irony and hyperrealism in this current exhibit. He explained to me that he was impatient with disingenuous art, and that his fondness for Star Wars was too sincere to approach it in a critical way, even if doing so might have garnered more attention to himself.
Sandstorm runs at The Reach until 8 September 2013.