Chinatown Soup is pleased to present Laughing Quietly To Myself, an exhibition of decontextualized oil paintings by artist-in-residence Scout Hawkins. Please join us for a celebratory reception on Thursday, August 1 from 7-9pm. Laughing Quietly To Myself is Scout’s solo debut and on view from July 30, 2019.

Now, a message from the artist:

A year ago, I started an Instagram page to express a facet of myself removed from my most intimate, personal identity. Through this platform, I articulated my thoughts on filtered experiences to an anonymous audience using humor, text, and design. In other words I made a meme page.

As my style developed, I gained thousands of followers and connected with similar accounts. Becoming immersed in the hilarious, political, and absurd world of original content meme pages was automatic. @laughingquietlytomyself became a big part of my life, and I got the idea to paint my memes as a way to move content beyond the digital realm.

Social media offers a solution to loneliness and isolation while paradoxically fostering it. My paintings express this tension. I chose square canvases to reference the classic Instagram photo format. The painted imagery is first found online or drawn from my imagination and then arranged in Adobe illustrator or the app Phonto. I also collaborated with some of my favorite content creators to turn their concepts into paintings for this show.

Although these pieces have a playful delivery, just below the surface is a deadly earnestness born of our universal desire to create and connect. Or maybe it really isn’t that deep—I guess that’s for you to decide.

Scout Hawkins (b. 1994) is a painter and content creator based in New York. Her graphic style and use of text in paintings reflect the digital age. Combining humor and cultural references, her work illuminates social issues and the experience of being. Scout earned a BFA from Pratt institute in 2018.

Chinatown Soup