This painting is part of Deb Kass' No Kidding series (2015—Present). One of the defining elements of this series is the incorporation of neon into the paintings. Kass' latest body of work, No Kidding deploys the aesthetic formalism of Post War abstraction, as did her feel good paintings for feel bad times. But now the mood has changed. The palette has shifted to dark colors and the surfaces of the paintings are worn and washed out. Seemingly positive lyrical phrases such as "Happy Days Are here Again' and "We'll Be Young Forever" contrast with a sense that everything is not alright. The colors and text in the works reference issues like women's health, climate change and institutional racism. Among the most potent pieces in the series use the words and colors Black and Blue alluding to, among other things, police violence against people of color.
Artist Biography Deborah Kass (born 1952) is an American artist whose work explores the intersection of pop culture, art history, and the construction of self. Kass is a fan of popular culture and a rigorous student of art history, and considers all of the existing artistic content as useful material from which to draw. She has gotten the most attention for her appropriation of Andy Warhol's signature screenprints. Kass uses the Warhol technique to create empowering, feminist images of females from art history and popular culture. Says Kass, "I use history as a readymade. I use the language of painting to talk about value and meaning. How has art history constructed power and meaning? How has it reflected the culture at large? How does art and the history of art describe power? I have deconstructed those things." Kass' early works were landscape paintings. Her first exhibitions were at Baskerville + Watson in New York, in the 1980s, a gallery that was famous for showing the work of such groundbreaking artists as Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince and Carroll Dunham. These artists had a profound impact on Kass.
Kass has been a Senior Critic in the Yale University M.F.A.Painting Program. Recent museum exhibitions include Deborah Kass, Before and Happily Ever After at The Andy Warhol Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Jewish Museum, New York, The National Portrait Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Works by Kass are in the permanent collections of MOMA New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jewish Museum (New York), Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Cincinnati Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, the Rubell Collection, Weatherspoon Museum, and many others.