Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sneak Peak: "Yonder" by Brandon Opalka

Tired of being chased out of every decent spot in downtown, I decided to head north last night. I usually don't go north bound on my rides but my good friend Brandon Opalka, one of Miami's great contemporary artists, had invited me to hang out at his studio earlier that day.

The last time I was at Brandon's studio he was experimenting heavily trying to find his new series and upon my arrival, at his studio last night, it was apparent that he had found it. Scribbled on some tattered piece of paper, which looked as if he found it in the dumpster, was the word "YONDER". This was to be the name of his new series and next show which was set for the end of September.

Jason Ferguson of MAP magazine was already at the studio when I arrived with a cup of jack in one hand and a ciggie in the other. Looking at the nearly empty bottle I realized I had some catching up to do, so I immediately poured myself a stiff one and began the night.

Brandon had recently been studying Gauguin and his works. For those unfamiliar with Guguin, he was a French born...ahhh fuck it, just look him up on Wikipedia. I think Brandon's new series is heavily influenced by Gauguin's frustration with the lack of recognition, European culture, and "everything that is artificial and conventional." Brandon seemed to find himself relating to Gauguin heavily in that sense. He seemed tired of Miami and tired of the lack of talented and innovative artists in the city. "Yonder" is Brandon's escape from Miami's superficial lifestyle to a place in his own imagination where each figure and object, in this new series of paintings, have there own life and their own individual stories.

I think this is his strongest series he has ever created and the "Yonder" show is definitely going to be one of Miami's "Must See" shows of the year (Basel included). We will keep you posted on the opening reception and all that good stuff so stay tuned!

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