We live in a society where celebrity worship and obsession with wealth and luxury coexist daily with news of impending pandemic threats and political and religious warfare. Gaudy displays of vanity and self-aggrandizing behavior are acceptable means to define our cultural personas. Tempted by the glow of the spotlight, and seduced by excess, we are told by our that we can solve the world's problems simply by shopping.
In Robert Horvath's paintings he explores this relationship: a shiny sparkling surface world and a dark, troubled world of fear. Young beautiful bodies vogue and pose in empty, acid-colored spaces. Exposed skin takes on a cold, other worldly sheen wrapped in the latest designer fashions. Lurking behind the glitter, the desire for status motivates and defines the search for an advantageous mate. Viral entities, gas clouds and bubbling pink sores begin to roll in to obscure or engulf the figures in mid-come-on. This combined imagery forces a visual duality: the escapist pop culture youth can no longer hide from and the horrors of reality.
With our attention being pulled in so many directions by media saturation and the cult of celebrity, our society seems to turn its assessing eye further and further inward, away from the darkness of the world's problems. These paintings ask?.is this candy-land we have created a beautiful barrage of harmless luxury, or will this insidious viral nature lead to our extinction?