Troy Gua

Hook and Flail


enamel on heritage wooden fork and spoon


42" x 16" x 4"



Hook and Flail is a play on the pharaoh’s ‘crook and flail’. The shepherd's crook symbolized the flock of Egypt's people, while the flail was an agricultural tool used to harvest grain. Both tools, carried as symbolic scepters, meant power and responsibility for the pharaoh. In this case, the fork and spoon represent the American equivalent, but this piece speaks to the American food industry’s history of nutritional misinformation and addicting the public to junk...and watching us flail.


Troy Gua, Hook and Flail

  • Troy Gua was born and raised in Seattle. He grew up with Ronald McDonald and Ronald Reagan, King Tut and the King of Pop; images and icons that have been burned into his subconscious. Media culture has shaped his life, and is a vital component of his creative process.


    I produce Pop-infused conceptual work in a wide range of media, marrying commerciality to contemporary with a glossy design aesthetic and a keen wit. My subject matter addresses contemporary culture and the ways in which media, iconography, identity, cultural self-critique, and the universal human need for recognition play parts within it. 

    My methods of fabrication are as eclectic as the results, and my media of choice is whatever best serves the piece, whether it be paint, print, plaster, photography, cast resin, found object, sculptural intervention, video, etc.

    Encouraging closer investigation, my work is reflective, often both literally and metaphorically. It implies the reflection of our culture and my love/hate fascination with it. It suggests the slickly wrapped bits of information our society is continuously fed through our ever-growing assemblage of media. It references what we choose to see, and what we choose to show.

    I'm both drawn to and repelled by our contemporary culture. That ambiguity is reflected in the work I make. Is it exalting or condemning its subject matter? Can it do both simultaneously?