This still-life painting references European art history through the lens of Black American culture by bringing together distinct objects drawn from the sophisticated slang heard in rap lyrics.
Signed and dated

① Artwork:

Pop 2

This still-life painting brings together a group of distinct objects, each one drawn from the sophisticated and often geographically-oriented slang heard in rap lyrics. This work is part of the artist’s ongoing Slanguage series, which draws its everyday subjects from the hip-hop lexicon. Each composition creates an index of terminology and materials around a specific theme—a reference to a historical European art style used to depict the transience of life. Chew's still-lifes approach this genre through the lens of Black American culture, reframing a tradition that has excluded Blackness.


24.13 inches
24.13 inches

③ Artist:

Troy Lamarr Chew II

Troy Lamarr Chew II is a highly skilled realist painter who explores the reverberations of the African diaspora throughout American culture. His work draws inspiration from both contemporary Black culture and its history, examining the cultural translations of various objects drawn from the hip hop vernacular. Chew’s images include references to Western art historical traditions, reframing their exclusion of blackness.

Recently, he walked us through one day in Los Angeles with him.

Troy Lamarr Chew II was born in 1992 in Los Angeles, California.

Solo exhibitions of his work include: Yadadamean at CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions in San Francisco, California (2020); Fuck the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men at Parker Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2020); WWJZD at Cushion Works in San Francisco, California (2019); and Stunt 101 at Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, California (2019). 

Group exhibitions showing Chew’s work include: Striving After Wind at Chapter NY in New York City (2021); I Yield My Time. Fuck You! at Altman Siegel in San Francisco, California (2020); California Winter, organized in collaboration with Hannah Hoffman, at Kristina Kite Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2019); Vanguard Revisited at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California (2019); Graduation at Good Mother Gallery in Oakland, California (2019); and Black Now(here) at Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, California (2018).

In 2020, Chew was awarded the prestigious Tournesol Residency at Headlands Center for the Arts. He received the award after becoming a Graduate Fellow from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco in 2018. His work is held in the collections of Kadist in Paris, France and San Francisco, California.

Chew lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Troy Lamarr Chew II:
Pop 2, 2021
Oil on wood
24.1 × 24.1 inches /