Chuck Conelly

Made by Dan Cheng

Exhibition in the Andy Warhol Museum: My America

Created: October 20th, 2014


This Saturday, I went to the Andy Warhol Museum and saw the exhibition of "My America" of Chuck Connelly.

Realistic Painting


This painting shows a Santa with a twisted and reddish face, and there is also a word "Ho-mo" written in a bullying-way. The strong and bright colors on Santa's face draw my eyes immediately. And then I noticed the silver word "Ho-mo". The simple blue background does not distracts the viewer from the main objects, and the rich values of it make the painting more 3 dimensional and realistic. 

He used lots of bright, bold and complementary colors, which make the drawing very visually dynamic and compelling. Strong colors also give people strong emotions. I can clearly see the light comes from the right up side, where Santa is looking at, with a sardonic gin. It seems like he is showing his contempt to people who are accusing ho-mo. Also, His beard brings movement in this picture since it indicates there is wind from the right hand side.

The texture of this painting is very smooth and metallic, he actually applied a shiny smooth paint on the top of this painting, which make this painting distinguished from other works and  help to grab viewer's attention.  

Overall, I think what strike me the most are all the contrasts Connelly put in this work, not only contrasting colors but also the contrast between the image and the theme.

Connelly claims that everybody is ashamed for something. He likes to show the dark side of people in his works. So for this painting, he uses Santa, who is usually relates to happiness (like Santa in this case) to show his opinion on contentious topics. It is hard for people to relate Santa with negative emotions. But here, I believe he wants to show the contrast that even Santa who almost never has bad faces is so discontent about bullying ho-mo that his face becomes distorted. Using cheerful color and image to show serious, controversial topic gives a great impact on viewer's mind.


Abstract Painting

in the fire

When I first saw this work, the yellow part which I supposed represents the fire grab my attention at once. Connelly uses light, cold colors on the upper part of the painting, and uses strong, warm colors at the bottom part. This strong contrast leads viewers' eyes to the transition part which is the  flame. 

The painting technique he uses resembles the pointillism, which is using small, distinct dots of color to create image. We can see a lot of color dots in this work. The dots also give me a feeling that they are the dancing ashes from the fire, which show some movement and make the work more dynamic.

When I look closer, I saw that the painting contains many words, which I cannot see very clearly but can recognize some alphabets like "F" and "e". And all these words are floating in the light blue space and create a mysterious feeling. I imagine the words may be spells which give me some auditory impact too.

Considering that Connelly always likes to present the dark side of the world in his work, I wonder is the flame going to burn down all the things, all the words and light, leaving the world dark and empty? The light blue part is foggy-like and it seems it is going to disappear soon. Fire normally means light and hope, making people feel cheerful. But here, I believe he uses it to represent a destructive force that ruins all the beautiful things. However, in this picture, light is still fighting with the darkness, we never know who  is going to win. Maybe this is also a question unknown to him.

Share this Project


Exhibition in the Andy Warhol Museum: My America