Closer At Hashimoto Contemporary 

Jeffrey Cheung’s paintings currently at Hashimoto Contemporary emanate pure joy. Closer, the Oakland artist’s debut solo show at the San Francisco gallery, centers around a series of wall-covering acrylic renderings of nude men with pink skin, luscious red lips, painted fingernails, and bold, black strokes outlining their supple bodies. With exuberant playfulness, the figures seem to frolic across the gallery as they touch each other and themselves in unabashed exploration, with eager smiles dominating their faces. In line with Cheung’s body of work, the paintings display a matter-of-fact celebration of queer eroticism without any of the sinister undertones that often creep into such work. But the show also signals a new chapter in Cheung’s practice, with a series of paper-cut collages that depict more somber, solitary, and fractured bodies. Even those already familiar with Cheung’s recognizable work from flyers and zines around Oakland are advised to see this show in person. It’s an utter pleasure.

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