Photo by Anna Bauer
Travis LeRoy Southworth (b. 1979, Honolulu, Hawaii) is a visual artist working in New York City. Solo and two person shows include Undercurrent (Brooklyn), Mixed Greens Gallery (NYC), Dock Gallery (Basel) and AHN/VHS (Philadelphia). Recent group exhibitions are Ortega y Gasset (Brooklyn), Index Art Center (Newark), Trestle Gallery, (Brooklyn), Martha Otero Gallery (Los Angeles), Thomas Robertello Gallery (Chicago), The Drawing Center (NYC) and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. His work has been written about in the New York Times, The Museum of Contemporary Digital Art, Basler Zeitung, and Art Slant. Southworth participated in the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM 29) Program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts (2008) and received a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship (2009). He was awarded a NYFA Fellowship in Photography (2010) and a residency in Switzerland that involved a project with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (2013). Southworth holds a MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007) a BFA from the University of Arizona (2004).
We live in a strange world, touching screens more than the ones we love. By day, I work as an image correction specialist in the beauty industry, spending several hours in a dark room carefully removing moles and imperfections. This work deeply informs my art practice as I stockpile hundreds of digital blemishes and color adjustments to construct new portraits. I integrate these elements into my work to open up discussions of image manipulation, computerized labor and self-perception. I want my work to express the complexity of 21st century identity and the increasing detachment felt from one’s body and the people around us.
In my series “Color, Balance” bodily artifacts removed from fashion photography become the base for paintings I create in Photoshop. I add subtle hue filled layers of digital paint and push pixels to blend remnants of the figure into the background. I use color as a spatial feature, shifting away the boundary of the body to further blur lines between abstraction and figuration. My works exist as unique pigmented prints on satin, canvas, silk and paper blends. I work with fabric as it is used to cover and shape one's form, allowing a person to stand out or blend in. Each work has a fine texture I liken to skin. I stretch my paintings over wood frames to give a seamless appearance and create a depth that is difficult to delineate.