Relocation is not an option when confronting Billy Copley’s work. You’re there – in The City with all of the jive clichés that go along with fast paced living. Billy lives within the milieu of siren city, NYC, with a studio in the art-interested Williamsburg. He draws his imagery from popular sources and lays it down with savvy hip-ness.
When Clement Greenburg fussed with his need to separate the high from the low, he might have been able to avoid his angst had he known Billy’s work. It would have met with Clement’s high standards of painterly-ness and yet it embodies pop imagery.
Skeleton with Lights has the smudge and gesture of the abstract in the space as well as the elements. There is an aura of city grit within the evidence of Copley’s hand and energy. There are mystery objects to deconstruct in order to place them within a relative context. In the foreground (if this was a logical space) of Girl in a Box, there is a fractured object, a series of lines like a woodblock print stenciled in the same unyielding dense black as printer’s ink. It is an intriguing set of lines, reminiscent of a mouth but there is something maleficent in the image.
Billy’s work is psychological and intellectually engaging. Subjectivity can’t be avoided when confronted by a Copley. It inspires the invention of new adjectives. Billy Copley puts together dissident elements from the world of mass-production-over-done. He filters his arrangements through his nonconformity. He lays out a confident personal exclamation of the diversity of modernity. Copley overwhelms from a mere piece of paper with the strength of an immense Renaissance masterpiece.
Copyright © 2006, Headbones Gallery, The Drawers