Austin Lee’s Feel-Good Art Is More Complicated Than It Seems

Scott Indrisek , Garage Magazine , April 1, 2019

Don’t be thrown by the sugary, rainbowtinted allure of painter Austin Lee’s latest show with Jeffrey Deitch. Among the enormous roses—the fields of floating hearts, the goofily grinning faces—there’s an undercurrent that unsettles. Even the exhibition’s title, “Feels Good,” implies an instability, partly alluding to the infamous catchphrase of Pepe the Frog, a hippydippy underground comics character who was coopted by the altright and other hate groups. “Something that seems good can be not so good for you—this show is poking at those different things,” Lee tells GARAGE.