This painting is part of Deb Kass' No Kidding series (2015—Present). One of the defining elements of this series is the incorporation of neon into the paintings. Kass' latest body of work, No Kidding deploys the aesthetic formalism of Post War abstraction, as did her feel good paintings for feel bad times. But now the mood has changed. The palette has shifted to dark colors and the surfaces of the paintings are worn and washed out. Seemingly positive lyrical phrases such as "Happy Days Are here Again' and "We'll Be Young Forever" contrast with a sense that everything is not alright. The colors and text in the works reference issues like women's health, climate change and institutional racism. Among the most potent pieces in the series use the words and colors Black and Blue alluding to, among other things, police violence against people of color. In this work, the neon spectacle distracts us from the underlying black and blue.
The artist's studio, New York, NY, USA Kavi Gupta gallery, Chicago, IL USA
Deborah Kass: No Kidding, Paul Kasmin Gallery, NYC, 2015