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Travis Leroy Southworth: I am a Portrait

January 9 - February 8

70 John Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Thursday-Saturday, 1-7 PM
(917) 584 0579

Undercurrent is excited to present a solo exhibition of work by Travis LeRoy Southworth entitled I Am A Portrait. Drawing heavily on portraiture, temporality, and computerized labor, Southworth’s work trivializes the beauty industry and challenges us to reflect on our own self-presentation.

As an Image Correction Specialist – or, to the layperson, a photo retoucher – Southworth pulls content from his day job, salvaging digital detritus of what advertising companies label flaws. Reshaping this digital material in Photoshop, Southworth presents it in a new physical skin – imperceptible wallpaper, silk sculptures, and a collection of figurative paintings printed on canvas, paper, satin, or suede. Tiny pores, stray hairs, color adjustments, and blemishes become sustainable resources for Southworth’s paintings and sculptures. The bright and airy color palette of magentas, lavenders, and flesh tones, derived from the imagery, transcend a dreamlike atmosphere while clouding its origin of soft violence; a digital scalpel extracting and pushing pixels; imperfection is abstracted and beauty confounded. Floating in the space are Southworth’s silk sculptures. Suspended by wire, these objects are ghost-like, reminiscent of another lifeform, levitating between the two worlds of digital and physical, posing metaphysical questions of the state of being in a digital era. Hanging alongside the Photoshopped work are analog pieces created from the laborious act of mashing up beauty magazines. The amalgamation of imagery is illegible, creating a gritty, dirty gray, presented in the classic scale and format of portraiture. Ad, image, and origin are indecipherable, mirroring the confusion of self-perception within a culture inundated with digital manipulation and filters.