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Sayre Gomez

Sayre Gomez has risen to prominence in recent years with his semi-fictionalised and photorealistic paintings known as X-scapes. Executed in a wide range of techniques, including trompe l’oeil, airbrushing, stencilling and those used to paint Hollywood sets, his work is inspired by the urban landscape of Los Angeles. Many of his paintings feature the housing, road signs, billboards and landmarks that form the backdrop to long car rides around the city. His paintings can simultaneously touch on the beauty of nature (vivid sunsets, sumptuous palms), the passage of time, urban decay and commercial nostalgia (signs, colours and lettering often evoke bygone days) and contemporary life (graffiti, cell phone masts). Gomez synthesises his observations into hyperreal images that challenge our ability to differentiate between authenticity and simulation: a cityscape that feels true-to-life might just as easily be an artificial construction. In this way, he explores the increasingly tenuous link between our everyday surroundings and a digital culture that is relentlessly driven by enhanced and manipulated images. The flawless execution and even luminescence of Gomez’ canvases, as well as the shifts between hard and sharp focus, can be seen as painterly reflections on the digital flattening and blurring of life and culture through screen-based technology. Openings and barriers, such as windows, doors, gates, shutters, walls and fences, are recurrent metaphors in his oeuvre that suggest Los Angeles is a city of promise and freedom, but also one of broken dreams and destitution. Gomez also explores these themes through other mediums, including sculpture, installation and video.

Sayre Gomez (b. 1982, Chicago, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Enterprise at Sifang Art Museum, Jiangsu, China (2022); and Renaissance Collection at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2022), among others. Gomez’s works are held in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; mumok, Vienna.

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Selected Images

Selected media

  • Sayre Gomez on Heaven ’N’ Earth (2024)

  • In conversation with Hamza Walker

    On the occasion of True Crime (2021)