I was invited by artist Gigi Chen (who assured me I would like the work) to the closing party for artists, studio mates, and collaborators Brandon Friend and Jason Douglas Griffin's show identity CRISIS at Lambert Fine Arts.
While enjoying some very intense beverages prepaired by professional mixologists I was introduced to Brandon. His work, and the abundance of collaborative work he and Griffin created for the show was impressive. The giant crowd that turned up for the closing party made it hard to really take it all in.
Brandon Friend & Gigi Chen goofing around at the closing party for Identy Crisis at Lambert Fine Arts.
A few days later I caught up with Brandon Friend and got to talk with him about the show, his artwork, and the beauty of collaboration.
ART SUCKS: "So what was the impetus for a collaborative show with Jason Douglas Griffin? How did you two become collaborators on this?"
Some of Jason Douglas Griffin's solo pieces hanging in identity Crisis.
Some identity Crisis collaborative works by Griffin and Friend.
BRANDON: "Jason and I went to undergrad at Maryland together nearly ten years ago. We have collaborated on works over the past three and a half years as studio mates in LIC. This show was conceived as we continued to draw a line between our individual works over the past year and a half."
ART SUCKS: "How much of this show is collaboration?"
Brandon Friend & Jason Douglas Griffin posing in front of 'a gentleman's game'.
BRANDON: "We collaborated on over 40 pieces in this show including the window piece 'a gentleman's game' which to us was a grand statement about the collaborative process."
ART SUCKS: "When did you to start putting together the 40 pieces?"
BRANDON: "All of the collaborative works in this show were created in the past few months as soon as I was finished working on individual pieces for my previous show in September downtown at Spattered Columns."
ART SUCKS: "The look of your work is really unique. Tell me a little about your process."
BRANDON: "It's a painting process that I have developed over the past 10 years which I call imprinting."
ART SUCKS: "So you have digital and paper elements but you still seem to make a mess and get your hands dirty."
BRANDON: "Basically I use paper to paint by the methodical process of applying and removing. Working with different forms of paper, napkins, tissue, (home office supplies)... ink jets, laser jets, pre patterned and recycled sheets from scraps that never made it into earlier works. Each yielding different qualities of mark and holding properties."
Brandon Friend's work can be found online at BrandonFriend.com. He also runs an art blog called Be Nice Art Friends.
Lambert Fine Arts Press Release:
Friend and Griffin use mediated pop culture imagery as the foundation for their iconic characters – depersonalized representations of authority in situations of conflict. Friend’s Defenders and Griffin’s Ninjas question traditional social power structures using familiar characters that challenge viewers to position themselves on multiple sides of an implied conflict. The loosely narrative images offer no conclusions as to which parties actually are the defenders or those being defended, which are batting down and which are unleashed to stealthily fight on the side of truth. However, the reality of a larger cause is essential to this work which asks the public to question the sources, content, and fallout of the barrage of mediated information, and in turn to collectively rise above the desire for immediate satisfaction of individual needs for the good of the collective.
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