Up close, his large-scale paintings appear to be an abstraction of colorful liquescent shapes. However, on closer examination, the forms assemble into recognizable moments in history, absorbed into contemporary scenes of idealistic “pics” referencing selfie and FOMO culture. As the line between reality and fiction becomes thinner, Westly wants us to embrace the mess and grow to love and understand a new found ambivalence.
In his Odalisque paintings, beautiful women cuddle Hello Kitty plush toys in part art-historical reference, part curated post. In other scenes a family-friendly patio table is set before a porn site pop up window a Greco-Roman muse teeters before a Ricci-esque African chamber maid, both floating in timeless and jumbled pixelated space. Chandeliers and flowers appear as signifiers of false opulence while hints of blue sky and greenery attempt to break through the internet takeover, reminding us that there is a world beyond the screen.