Troy Lamarr Chew II at Parker Gallery
Some of Troy Lamarr Chew II’s paintings at Parker Gallery might look a bit familiar. For his show, Y’all Feel Me?!, the artist made paintings of classic hip-hop albums and music video stills, but swapped his face with each musician. Instantly recognizable is a portrait of Chew as Missy Elliot from her classic “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” sporting bike helmet, shades, and the iconic garbage bag suit. Chew also doctored an MTV logo in the corner of the painting to say MTroy. In this way, Chew toys with the greats — altering Tupac’s tattoo to say “Chupac”; swapping in “Troy” for “Damn” on a Kendrick Lamar cover; and writing Chusic (rather than Music) next to an Apple logo in a riff on an often memed still from Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video. Across the exhibition, the artist celebrates hip-hop’s history and lineage, while also inserting himself into the narrative (Chew even made a mixtape for the show of him rapping over popular hip-hop tracks).
Troy Lamarr Chew II, Every time she sees me, she squeeze me, Lady take it easy!, 2023. Oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Parker Gallery.