Bex Massey’s work examines the role of painting and the language of display in the face of popular culture. She amalgamates simulacra and allegory to investigate notions of ‘worth’ via motifs extracted from her childhood. She appropriates & refashions 80’s/90s jpegs in an ‘awkward couple’ of garish nostalgia and traditional making techniques. Canvas therefore straddle the hyper real and grotesque as she imagines pixels into existence from low res files. Massey returns to the palette of her adolescence as it remains a slower era-pre internet, and social media. Her use of ‘naff’ portraiture condemns the fleeting and futile nature of certain applications, as she dips her toe into the murky waters of ‘Fan Art’: The nature of painting further epitomising this construct of time and its suggested ‘worth’-in the replication of the transitory image lest the click of a flash, mouse or ctrl alt delete.
Massey borrows lengthy processes from the old Masters to replicate quick links from Adobe Suite in a bid to push away from the ever-expanding field of the digital. This competition between man and machine came to a head in her solo shows Àhhá, 2017 and ÀhháÀhhá, 2018 where she attempted to emulate how a painting might ‘physically’ feel in lieu of VR technology. She is now extrapolating the principals of the expanded frame in 2D. She utilises this collaging process and humour to discuss the farcical disparity between the genders. Recent series discussing intersectional feminist issues have questioned why ‘Women occupy 0.5% of recorded history’ (‘Original Gyal Dem’ 2019, Gallery 46); the beginnings of misogyny with the Pandora myth (‘We didn’t start the fire’ (solo) 2020-2021, VOLT) and current more autobiographical series ‘The truth is out there’ which discusses the fall out of ‘Section 28’ on a generation of Queer kids.