Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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Ethereal paintings evoke feelings of longing, loss



The girls in Casey Weldon’s “Lazy Daze” represent the young girls he’d meet in his youth while camping with his grandparents.

If You Go

  • What: “Becomings and Goings”
  • When: Noon-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon-2 p.m. Saturday; through Oct. 30.
  • Where: Trifecta Gallery in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd.
  • Admission: Free, 366-7001

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A child in a skeleton costume sits on his Big Wheel and shoots bubbles from a ray gun.

It’s late afternoon. Behind him bare trees are silhouetted against the large, austere and seemingly empty homes of a planned suburban community under a salmon sky. He looks at his target with a light smile on his face.

The title of this painting, “Suburban Terror,” seems to be a play on words by the artist Casey Weldon, whose exhibit “Becomings and Goings” merges ethereal sensibilities with nostalgia and longing. The exhibit is on display at Trifecta Gallery through Oct. 30.

The paintings evoke grief and loss without defining what is being mourned. Weldon leaves that part of the conversation open to the viewers. An impeccable illustrator and figurative painter, he has created a series of personal works that combine nostalgia with contemporary imagery to broaden their reach.

The characters appear almost trancelike, many of them set in an autumn chill. The skeleton costume worn by the boy in “Suburban Terror” appears in two other paintings, one of which features a young woman in adolescent clothes, emitting her youthful beauty while carrying a baby dressed in a skeleton costume.

In “Lazy Daze,” two glossy-eyed young girls looking mournful wear matching cutoffs and tank tops. Large against the backdrop of bare trees, they sit on leaves and hold a Lazy Daze RV in their arms. Its headlights blast forward. Summer is clearly over.

But for Weldon, it’s more than that. He’s catching moments in life just before adulthood sets in and childhood is over. He’s tracking birth and death in every brush stroke of his faded paint palette. His newer works are more narrative. Some seem literal.

Despite the serious tone and weighty issues, the work seems warm, almost embracing. The girls in the “Lazy Daze” painting represent the young girls he’d meet while camping as a boy with his grandparents and the uncomplicated relationships that lasted the duration of the family getaway, that took place before media culture nabbed them for good.

“It’s pretty hard to find anything like that anymore,” Weldon says.

This is his second solo show at Trifecta since he moved from New York to Las Vegas two years ago. As with his previous paintings, the work is commentary, but much more melancholy.

“My previous paintings have one-liners or a joke or a punch line. I’m not trying to get rid of that, but I wanted to have a more serious tone. There is an innocence lost. I have friends and family who are having children. Some are dying. It seemed the best way for me to depict the cycle of life.”

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