Brian Bress

Brian Bress

Donnerstag, 31. Januar 2013


Madrid, Spain

(Please scroll down for English version)

Brian Bress
Inauguración 31 Enero a las 19:30

La Galería Marta Cervera, se complace en presentar por primera vez en Europa, la obra del artista de Los Angeles, Brian Bress (1975).

Bress parte de una formación clásica en pintura, y evoluciona al vídeo-performance. Sus films encierran narraciones en circulo que redundan en lo absurdo. Son vídeos visualmente innovadores, cuyo surrealismo en composición y ritmo, replantean los supuestos que a priori tenemos sobre la naturaleza y la realidad.

Brian Bress construye escenarios en su taller que ya de por si invitan a la performance. Se vale de sus allegados para que den vida a sus personajes: creaciones originales que Bress disfraza con sumo cuidado. Cada uno de los personajes nace de los accesorios y vestimentas caseras que el artista crea para ellos, y articula así un discurso original que nos aproxima a la pintura. Generalmente el propio artista participa en sus propias composiciones como un personaje más.

Las obras que aquí se presentan, estudian la dicotomía entre pintura y vídeo. El artista enmarca y cuelga el vídeo como si de una pintura se tratase. Su planteamiento es radicalmente moderno al presentarlo como una consecuencia inmediata de la pintura y utilizarlo como mero soporte de sus composiciones, que ejecuta con total precisión técnica y meticulosidad. Como si de un trampantojo se tratase, el video transcurre en slow motion, reproduciendo la consecución de pasos que articulan el movimiento, cada uno de los cuales configura una nueva composición.

Además de sus video-creaciones, Bress destaca por sus collages, protagonizados por actores enmascarados con composiciones de objetos que crean incertidumbre y de nuevo delatan el surrealismo y absurdo que prima en la obra del artista.

Brian Bress estudió Arte en la Rhode Island School of Design, y obtuvo su Master en Bellas Artes en la Universidad de California, Los Ángeles. Entre sus exposiciones individuales destaca "Interventions," en Santa Barbara Museum of Art, (Santa Barbara, CA). En los dos último años, Bress ha expuesto su trabajo en importante enstituciones como El New Museum, (NYC, NY); Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami, FL); the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, PA); Arthouse (Austin, TX); the Parrish Art Museum (South Hampton, NY); the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (Tampa, FL) y el Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, (Salt Lake City, Utah). Su vídeo Under Cover (2007) formó parte de la remarcable exposicón "California Video" (2008) en el Getty Museum de Los Angeles. Revistas especializadas como The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Artforum, Art in America, Art Review y Frieze han publicado reseñas sobre el artista.

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Brian Bress
Opening Reception Wednesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Uncertainty on the part of both viewer and artist is a core element of my work. It contributes to the pathos—and the humor—driving the questioning of the artwork's overarching structure, revealing new meanings and new emotions. In recent years my practice has evolved from a formal education in painting to a performative-based video practice. Central to the evolution has been an interest in the studio as a physical space to arrange and create sets and tableaux charged with my own formalized aesthetic. And with these environments the desire has been to change the studio from a workshop into a theater space, so that the transformed space might itself inspire and drive the performance.

A recurring formal concern has been the inherent flatness of the video image. A quality of the medium that is, while derided by some filmmakers, a perfect partner in the conversation about the painting. My interest in the flatness of the video image has led to an exploration of the possibilities inherent with the new technology of flat screen monitors. Specifically, the potential of thin screens to be hung on the wall and to play looping videos occupying the space where one expects to find a painting. The handmade and meticulous nature of the costumes, masks and backgrounds featured in the videos lends a further material connection to painting. The relationship of the monitor pieces to the history of painting connects to many of the methods, styles and techniques of the medium. Like the Baroque 17th century trompe l'oeil paintings that served as windows to another world, sometimes with the subject even attempting to emerge from the framed image, the flat panel videos play with and explore similar boundaries between image and reality.

Additionally the medium of video brings the element of motion into the equation of these historical modes of painting. The expected stillness of the picture is met with the uncanny tension created by seeing a moving image. Or conversely, if one is approaching the video monitor with the expectation of an abundance of motion, they are met with the silent and limited motion of the pieces. A contrast that undermines the connection to film and television and relative abundance of action these mediums offer. Still other connections to traditional paintings emerge in the work. Often the history of the painted portrait has been to serve as a document of a loved one. However in this work the sitters, all personal friends and loved ones, are subsumed by the costumes they wear. For example, in Infinite Man (Britt) 2012, the sitter is my partner, who is female. The tension between her actual identity as a female and that of the costume that depicts a repeating pattern of males creates a dichotomy between what is real and what is represented.

If the historical purpose of the portraiture genre has been to capture the essence of the sitter, my attention to the minute details of the sitter's outer accouterments suggest a belief that our context and our trappings in some sense define us. Beads and feathers, bulbous noses and eyes are all part of physiognomies I present in these works, revealing a cross-section of individuals and the narratives that unite them.