Texan artist Rosson Crow, born in 1982, continues to explore America and its impact on the rest of the world in her solo exhibition Westification, which runs at MOCA Tucson until March 25. In the follow-up to The Happiest People on Earth, her solo exhibition held last year, bright pops of color in her largescale paintings of the landscapes of the American West immediately hook viewers. Yet upon closer inspection, symbols of “Great” America such as flags, beers and bumper stickers can be found recklessly strewn in the deserts populated by cacti dripping in various enticing shades of green, making you wonder if the country’s exports such as national pride (Donald Trump) and disposable culture are necessarily good.
Crow’s skillful treatment of the dark American underbelly by meshing photo transfer and traditional painting together in her layered work recalls what US director David Lynch said – “My childhood was picket fences, blue skies, red flowers, and cherry trees – but then I would see millions of little ants swarming on the cherry tree, which had pitch oozing out of it.” Indeed Crow herself is not what she seems and underneath her “silly” blonde image – neatly trimmed bob, red lips, provocative dresses and all that – is a creative force of nature who means business.
Perhaps Crow is a positive US influence – a stout believer in the American dream, she left Texas for New York City when she was a 17-year-old misfit to escape the native homeland that stifled her growth as an artist and a person. At just 26 the muse to and collaborator of fashion designers Jeremy Scott and Zac Posen landed her first solo exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, which has been championing her work ever since.
Like the cacti in her paintings, Crow survived the arid creative climate of the American West to become living proof that your future can be as bright as the colors she uses – if you dare.
13 Jan – 25 Mar 2018
Wednesday – Sunday, 12:00 – 17:00
Museum of Contemporary Art
265 South Church Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85701, USA
Photo courtesy to artist’s instagram @rossoncrow