Two toy soldiers fight valiantly on for a cause lost or even unknown to them, their wounded compatriot writhing in pain on a blue sponge.
Nearby, a plastic dinosaur roars, asserting dominance over another, who has been toppled and vanquished.
Fishing for minnows on the back of a whale (2021) combines an incongruous assemblage of the present and the past…
the banal and the imagined…
the human and the prehistoric…
…playfully compressing the history of everything into a modest kitchen.
A six-story structure of washed dishes teeters on the brink of collapse, suggesting an admirable effort at domesticity, albeit lacking in follow through.
The fiery light of a Home Depot under-cabinet fixture suffuses the scene, overexposing a horn-of-plenty tile backsplash.
A Stonehenge calendar hangs from the nearby fridge on numeral magnets, numbering our days from the beginning of time.
And here are our struggles: feasting on mythology when there’s food in the fridge; Fishing for Minnows on the Back of a Whale, as the painting’s title would have it.
Conway has us blink a few times, then look again—unable to fully settle into a sense of reality nor absurdity—at the simultaneously tiny and expansive worlds that we inhabit.
Fishing for Minnows on the Back of a Whale, 2021
Oil on panel
45 x 68 x 2 inches
(114.3 x 172.7 x 5.1 cm)