From the gallery’s press release-
Raised in Highland Park and East Los Angeles, Terrill was part of a small group of Chicano artists who in the 1970s and 80s created works that diverged from traditional Chicano-based imagery and subject matter to include visual representations reflecting his queer lived experiences. Utilizing the existing image culture that surrounded him, Terrill combines personal photographs, found pop cultural imagery, and reproductions of artworks by queer predecessors, including Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe and Wilhelm von Gloeden, to conjure utopic spaces. Spanning from his earliest explorations to substantial new works, Cut and Paste reveals collage as a foundational element to Terrill’s expanded artistic practice.
Beginning with abstract collages and silkscreens made while Terrill was an undergraduate at Immaculate Heart College—an art department still heavily influenced by the graphic artist and activist Sister Corita Kent—the exhibition draws out the interconnectivity of illustration, collage, and printmaking in Terrill’s work and their influence upon the characteristically flat style of his early paintings. Like many artists who came of age in the wake of Pop, he found refuge within the fantasies of American image culture–his earliest artworks covering his bedroom walls, which he transformed with a mix of drawings, photographs, and clippings of comic books, film starlets, and music icons. His silkscreens from the mid-1970s–a medium central to the larger Chicano art movement–find him applying a graphic sensibility to not only representations of brown bodies, but queer desire, an impulse he would continue to explore in his episodic Homeboy Beautiful proto-zines from the end of the decade.
Terrill was selected to be one of the artists in Hammer Museum’s 2023 biennial, Made in L.A., which will open this October. He also has a work in the current exhibition at the museum- Together in Time: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection running until 8/20/23.