Llyn Foulkes has been called the Zelig of contemporary art. Over the past five decades he has been consistently inconsistent, confounding critics and galleries with dramatic changes of direction whenever it seemed he was about to be overtaken by popular acclaim. He’s also been consistently ahead of the curve. He showed a year before Andy Warhol at the legendary Ferus Gallery in the mid-60s and was heralded as an early master of Pop with his famous ‘Cow’ (a nicely rendered creature in blank space), anticipating Warhol’s bovine prints by three years. Among the artists with whom he emerged were John Baldessari, Wallace Berman, Robert Irwin and Ed Ruscha. Although he would probably scoff at the label, many admirers regard his musical performances as performance art.
His eclectic oeuvre includes intriguing meditations on the nature of photographic images, a light romance with nostalgic Americana, savage portraits reminiscent of Francis Bacon and scathing commentaries on the insidious nature of commercial pop culture particularly the products of Disney (dead Mickey’s are strewn through recent works). And although he has zigged and zagged through the decades, an echo of Dada and a Duchampian playfulness inform much of his work (though certainly not in a manner that reveals any dreaded consistency).