Hope you’re doing well, and congratulations on all your successes. It’s been quite a year, to say the least. I have been learning how to sit in the discomfort. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve noticed that I’m happiest when I stay present in my thoughts and don’t future trip too hard. I have also allowed my imagination to be a bit freer, for obvious reasons of course. I mean before the pandemic I had so many plans, so did Harper! To travel, see new places, meet new people, eat new foods, and smell new smells. But the irony of it all is we now face a pandemic that has taken our ability for the most part to do those specific things and it can actually remove your taste and smell. I mean wtf!!!
I think it was these moments of imaginative reflection, that I really started to fall for Charlie Ly’s paintings and drawings. I wanted to really look deeper into the details I perhaps took for granted. Charlie would paint a place that was more than a place but was like a memory of a place that I had never been to before. All of a sudden, I cared about the patterns of people’s pajamas because they were different than mine. I cared to see the foods other people ate because they tasted different than mine (this is assuming I still possessed taste). I almost needed Charlie’s paintings. They really became a window for me. Chris! I am tired of theories, and conflict, simply surviving is a theory and a conflict. Chris: thank you for showing me Charlie. Thank you for giving me information and sensations when everyone and everything else seems to be doing the opposite.
Stay free Chris,
Charles Ly (b. 1984, San Jose, CA) received a BFA from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2008, and is currently based in East Hampton, NY. Most recently, his work has been exhibited at Harper’s, Los Angeles, New York, and East Hampton (2021 and 2020); Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton (2021); Rental Gallery, East Hampton (2020); and Guild Hall, East Hampton (2016).