There are few people who can paint a debauchery, erractic ecstasy and irreverence today quite like Alic Brock. The the Atlanta-based painter creates in a hyperrealistic way seems that are far from reality but sort of stuck in a dreamscape. His new show, Cadillac Jack, on view at Simchowitz DTLA, has elements of the pop-culture subjects he has painted in the past, but with a more personal tone.
“Your brain does interesting things when it’s confronted by something that might appear to be about new technologies but has the physicality of something that has been around for a long time,” says Brock (b. 1992 Dayton, Ohio) of his paintings. “And I’m really interested in how those two things can live side-by-side, a digital image and a painting.”
As the gallery nores, "]Cadillac Jack was the name of well-known sports bar and grill in Dayton that he and his family used to frequent, and the nine paintings in the exhibition are dedicated to his mother, Pamela, who passed away last year at the youthful age of 64. Several were made specifically for her (i.e. the works entitled For Pamela) and feature roses and pearls, which were two of her favorite things. Others were inspired by the conflicting feelings he has toward his early years in Dayton and growing up in a household that often attempted to convey conservatism, but was in truth anything but. The black leather in the painting The Jacket (2022) for instance, not only reflects his memories of both, the bikers and the bars that his parents used to go to, but his mother’s continual search for escapism. Similarly, the sexual couplings depicted in Palm Beach Tan 1 & 2 (2022) reflect both, his discovery of Hustler magazines hidden in his dad’s garage, and the revelation that his parents had another, unspoken side to themselves. “When my mother passed it was really like a goodbye to my hometown,” he says. 'I will go back there time to time, but it’s over now. And I feel that these works are kind of trying to deal with that'.”