In Our Masthead: Valaire Van Slyck

by Guy Forget on April 4, 2011 In Our Masthead

Valaire Van Slyck, "Untitled", 2007, automotive component paint system, acrylic, confetti, glitter on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

A native of Detroit, Valaire Van Slyck has witnessed his hometown’s precipitous collapse. His paintings are themselves artifacts of the post-industrial urban environments he lives in. Earlier paintings, such as Untitled(2007), are tableaus of urban blight. Dilapidated buildings, abandoned cars, vacant factories, liquor stores are frequently depicted and his use of automotive clear-coats, glitter and confetti add another layer to his paintings. They both literally and figuratively celebrate and obfuscate a distinctly American failure.

Valaire Van Slyck, "Untitled," 2010, acrylic, spray paint, wrapping paper, confetti on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

In the past few years Van Slyck has increasingly mined the streets for materials. He has a special fondness for the most insignificant remainders of our society. In more recent work, collage elements are paramount and painterly affects have become more formal. In Untitled (2010), for example, the canvas is covered by wrapping paper and scraps of material; the painterly gestures are limited to a few waves from a can of spray paint, perhaps his very own Signum Crucis.Valaire Van Slyck lives and works in Union City, NJ.

Valaire Van Slyck, "Untitled", 2009, automotive component paint system, acrylic, glitter, beer label on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

Valaire Van Slyck, detail of a recent experiment with spray paint and acrylic on his garage wall.

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