David Roy

Gravity Monster

** opening will be held at 521 WEST 23RD ST NEW YORK NY 10011 from 6 to 9pm on Thursday September 9th. 56 Henry in Chinatown will be open until 8pm on Friday September 10th. **

56 HENRY invites you to, Gravity Monster, a two-venue show, by David Roy. The gallery installation marks Roy’s first NYC solo exhibition, on view from September 9th through October 16th, 2021.


The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00am - 6:00pm. The opening reception, Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 6:00 - 9:00pm will include a short sound performance by Roy.


Gravity Monster invents a more sculptural approach to Roy’s ongoing BLACKNASA project and Peace Rocket concept. To this, an amicable launch in upstate New York will follow the end of the exhibition in mid-October.

In a bold move, Gravity Monster offers a strategy for subverting cynical pessimism through facing the realities of our world head on. Composed of materials typical in the aerospace industry, Roy describes making the four forms as sculptures first and rockets second. Addressing themes of art and war while taking advantage of the materials’ structural and functional properties affords viewers an aesthetic view of the composite nature of the projectiles as free-standing forms, and one poised upon a launchpad.


Within the safe zone of a white walled gallery, an up-close look at benign missiles invites viewers to experience and converse on human motives. Within the hostile subjects such as the interiority of violent acts, the shell of these sculptures point toward a weighty warning. Where remnants are not scrapped, but rather sculpted back together, the Gravity Monster exposes the abnormality of dreadful deeds. The latent relationships with the forms and colours poised in the space are what they are, creating the clarity around the usage of such forms as being based on the design of the mind behind their formation.


In piecing together identifiable forms that can be observed as dimensional, abstract paintings, the remnants of conflict are reformed into objects of both contemplation and play. Exhibiting rocket-sculptures was not merely an act of capitulation but rather an artistic exertion of realising the spirit of life itself. As the project has developed in service to easing cultural and ideological tensions, the realisation of the more artistically expressive forms happened to coincide with a time of US military withdrawal, meteorologically catastrophic events, and a growing sense of unease in a loss of trust in both governments and experts.


The seven noble ideals of human space exploration are taken up by Roy’s rocket making in BLACKNASA and Peace Rocket. He intends these ideals into Gravity Monster as an invitation to take on an alternative view of the ancient, The Art of War. The sculptures are made of and embedded with the ideals of creativity, challenge, courage, ingenuity, perseverance, unity, and discovery as benevolent projectiles of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass. Black and army green signify militaristic relationships while the blue and aesthetic application and construction point toward a triumphant nature in abstract painting.


-- Rachel Wolfe, 2021

David Roy (b. 1986, Los Angeles, CA) is an LA based artist and recent MFA sculpture graduate of Yale University where he was a recipient of the Yale School of Art Social Justice Initiative Grant (2020). He has a BFA in Photography from Otis College of Art and Design. Roy’s work is formed out of his LIFE IS ART, ART IS LIFE perspective and has brought a sense of relatable and courageous modesty through his archival and observational, documentary photographs, cross-country motorcycle adventures, audio, and BLACKNASA's mission to conduct rocket science, both technical and social.


His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions inlacing You Can't Make Bombs to Beat the Boss, Grice Bench, Los Angeles, CA (2021); No Deep Kissing, Yale Green Hall Gallery, New Haven, CT (2020), Ebsploitation, Curated by Ebony L. Haynes, Martos Gallery, New York, NY (2019), Messages of Peace for Horus II-A,Yale University Art Gallery and Run What You Brung!!, Green Hall Gallery, New Haven, CT (2018), United States to Iran Straight, collaboration with Forouzan Safari, PØST, Los Angeles, CA (2017), Color Wheels, juried exhibition for Los Angeles County MTA, CalTrans Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2015), Bikers Rule!, curated by The Bureau of Arts and Culture, DTLA Bikes, Los Angeles CA (2012). Solo shows have included eminent domain, Mandujano/Cell, Inglewood, CA (2016), FMLY Ride Retrospective, Echo Chamber Creative Headquarters, LosAngeles,CA (2014), David Roy-Analogue Bike Photography, curated by Veronica Palma, Bike Oven & Flying Pigeon, Cypress Park, CA (2011), and a Collector’s Show, curated by Photographic Arts Council L.A., DNJ Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (2013).