Sometimes it takes the right sociopolitical moment for an artist’s work to land its critique. That’s precisely what happened with Farley Aguilar’s paintings, currently on view in his solo show Bad Color Book at Lyles & King.
A couple years ago when I saw his work at Volta New York, I wrote off the Florida-based artist’s monumental splattered canvases as a throwback to the hypermasculine, “bigger is better” style of painting. But, his current exhibition, filled with threatening representations of crowds, resonates with the populist anger and frenzied mob mentality tapped into by Donald Trump. While Aguilar sourced his painting’s imagery from vintage photographs, his themes, rendered with an anxious, frenetic hand, are chillingly timely.