22nd February – 13th April 2013
In 2009 and 2012 Leon Chew made two journeys through the Californian high desert. Black Asphalt was inspired by those journeys.
“Leaving Twenty Nine Palms I headed North towards Amboy. It was 11a.m. and I was running late. I pulled the car over at what looked like grand canals excavated into the dry lake bed, emerald green veins slicing through the parched salty earth. As I walked I collected pieces of tire rubber from the roadside, preserved by the static climate of the high desert, each fragment holding the memory of an individual incident, a momentary failure, a pause on a journey toward the black asphalt vanishing point…”
Like much of Chew’s work in the past, there is a romantic and literary tradition that refers to artists and writers that have taken inspiration from the road and the great love affair of the 20th century, the motorcar.
About the artist
Leon Chew (b. Tyneside, 1975) has an MA in Photography from LCC, University of Arts London. Asphalt Black is his first solo show. Leon and PayneShurvell artist Andrew Curtis will be collaborating on a special project for the inaugural Art13 art fair in London this February.
Selected group shows include: Your Garden is Looking a Mess Could You Please Tidy it Up (PayneShurvell, 2011), For Japan (Aperture Foundation London, 2011), The Good Life (Garden Museum London, 2009), The Art of Photography Show (San Diego, 2009), and Hyeres Festival of Fashion & Photography (Hyeres, 2006).
Leon has been a regular contributor to British avant-garde music magazine The Wire since his first cover shoot in 2005. His work has also featured in Frieze, Modern Painters, National Geographic, Wallpaper*, New Statesman, Wall Street Journal and in book projects for the Henry Moore Institute and the Saatchi Gallery.