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Sean Horton: Untitled Art, Miami Beach: Kate Groobey & Kirk Hayes


Dates: December 5 – 10, 2023 Address: Ocean Drive and 12th Street

Hours: 11 am – 7 pm


Sean Horton is pleased to present a two-person booth of new paintings and video performances by France-based British artist Kate Groobey (b. 1979) and new trompe-l'oeil paintings by Texas-based artist Kirk Hayes (b. 1958).


Establishing a sort of self-empowered woman vs. self-defeating man dichotomy, Kate Groobey portrays her personal experiences and explores the androcentric cannon of painting from a feminist, queer perspective using the tactics of British humour while Hayes' semi-self-portraits attempt to soften the ever-present American notions of aging, depression, failure, and mortality through playfulness and dark humor.

Groobey’s work reflects on what it means to be a strong, queer, woman in the world today against a backdrop of rising homophobia, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the Woman-Life-Freedom movement. Driven by the ideals of equality and solidarity, Groobey is building a lexicon of motifs that envelop, strengthen, and empower her two protagonists, Jina Khayyer, her writer wife, and the Female Stallion, Groobey’s own equine avatar, who are poured, spooned, and dripped onto canvases to create visceral, sculptural impasto surfaces.


Articulating a queer, female gaze, Groobey’s painted heroines don’t sit quietly on walls. They jump out of the frame, they speak, and they move in video-works wherein Groobey becomes her own characters, bringing them to life with painted costume, dance, digital editing tricks like Boomerang, taken from social media, and a soundtrack in which Groobey and Khayyer’s intimate daily conversations become mantras of strength and empowerment: their desires, philosophy, poetry and directives fill your mind as you look.

And while Hayes' trompe-l'oeil paintings offer a glimpse into the artist's inner life, it is his ability to exploit the expectations between a painting's dumbness and sophistication that ultimately delivers the most baffling of punch lines.

To quote the artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, "For the first time viewer not yet let in on the joke, there is usually a period of examination that leads to a comment about primitivism or the ephemerality of material. In those moments, we are being toyed with and being played for the fool. It's easy to put a fence around Hayes' vision with the presumption that one is looking at actual scraps and discarded elements glued or nailed to wood. We fall victim to the farce, because no one expects to see such raw subject matter treated with such sophistication. No one expects to be the lesser in that kind of visual power play. No one expects the paint."

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