This painting uses Rembrandt’s painting Night Watch (1642), perhaps one of the most famous group portraits in art history, as the background for a group portrait of a different kind. How and where the casual photographer captures moments like this is of ongoing interest to C. Meng. The artist's most recent paintings are fantastic assemblages that explore the mystery of the art form. These works are reinterpretations of the world that often combine art historical images or contemporary cultural scenes with characters and situations from the artist's own imagination. Disassociating a picture from its original context sparks Meng’s curiosity about the intrinsic meaning in visual representation—and ultimately the meaning of painting.
Living between the United States and China since the 1970s, Meng’s dichotomous cultural experience informs his work’s fusion of Eastern and Western artistic sensibilities. The artist employs soft calligraphic gestures on top of broad and abstracted brushstrokes, displaying a mastery of both loose and precise mark-making. Meng’s elegant and expressive genre paintings use simple lines and notations to convey scenes from the artist’s daily life and travels—from Chinese street market scenes to European museum interiors.