Occam Projects is pleased to announce The Happiest Hour, a solo exhibition of new work by Zachary Naylor. Displayed through a series of drawings, sculpture and a sound installation, Naylor creates a cast of characters which explore loss of innocence through themes of alcoholism, depression, and sexuality.
Figurative in nature, Naylor’s characters act as metaphors for personal struggle. In a sense his work is a series of allegorical self portraits; his cast, a community which provides the means to confront and re-examine his perception of self. The figures are distorted and unrecognizable, comically contorting and writhing throughout the picture plane. Cans of beer, empty and full, riddle the scenes; alcohol acting as a symbol which both binds and divides his characters. Their intoxication permits their actions, unearthing pleasure and pain as their true selves are revealed. They comfort, please, and harm one another, sharing their highest highs and their lowest lows. Naylor neither celebrates nor condemns the actions of his cast, rather he allows for viewers to conclude if the actions of his characters are justified and if they are truly monstrous or naively beautiful.
Working with graphite and colored pencil, Naylor’s line is loose and aggressive. This paired with a sparse use of color, allows him to guide and focus the viewer’s eye on specific areas of form. His rendering, while not strictly representational, accentuates the grotesque and terrifying aspects of the body.