Glowlounge @ GLOWLAB
４ weeks of new works, artists talks and late nights
February 05-March 01, 2009
7. Bird Fluin’-----A mutation of nature, as well as the S.A.R.S. epidemic. The Crane was selected to reference Asia. Being half Asian, I remember feeling prejudice while coughing on the subway during the height of the scare in early 2003.
8. G-Truck in Space----- A meditation on space garbage orbiting around the Earth. Technological advancement/pollution. Mundane diesel exhaust/smoky construction and demolition refuse on daily early morning walks through Manhattan.
9. Caddy Spray-----Self reference to my father’s Cadillac. The toxic, urban spray paint/ form of expression/rebellion/territorial/ego-driven scrawl contradicts my suburban upbringing in New Jersey.
10.This Air is Full-----My first paid gig at the age of 9 was shoveling snow. The text refers to the polluted air/global warming/a possible ice age. Solitary shovel battling the ice age.
11. Family Bike-----Despite the presence of dilapidated, dysfunction at home, there is unity.
12 .Hot Wheels/Easy Living-----references growing up with the brand “Hotwheels” which is targeted to little boys as a socially constructed idea of scoring chicks, testosterone, and social status. (Above the text is my reality in NYC) The animals in the middle of the space have no concern with material objects and are used as self referential, metaphorical icons. Easy Living is in itself a paradox. Below it are selected mattresses I have slept on.
13. Dish-----An actual sight from my visit to Nepal in 2000.The Irony of the term “Dish” in a 3rd world country. (The absence of non-nutritional food)
14. Wall Street-----A meditation on the existential meaning of a street sign which says, “Wall Street.”
15. Building-----Having lived in upper Manhattan in early 2000, I noticed buildings seemed so generic, but as cliché as it may sound they are not.
16. Leonardo----- Davinci’s inspiration for the design of the helicopter stems from viewing an innocent humming bird . This piece is a meditation on the Apache helicopter war-machine.
17. Surfin’ Bunny-----An innocent creature on a backwards surfboard. (A self referential, metaphorical icon)
Brian Leo has been creating an ongoing series of paintings in a style best typified as Garage Pop Surrealism. The series has been exhibited as a deluge of up to 500 paintings .
Garage refers to a grungy warehouse of stored poetic language addressing raw emotion. In Leo's work, mundane imagery resonates against solid backgrounds of vibrant color, evoking Pop Art commercialism. Cartoon-like, whimsical subject matter, referencing individual identity, pop culture and current events, are juxtaposed and re-contextualized to form surrealistic icons of disposal. The psychological tug of these paintings reveals the Surrealist underpinnings of Leo's endeavor.
Working within the paradigm of contradiction, the artist contrasts the bright and festive colors of his palette with images of modern day despair and quirks from everyday life.
Leo's setting is an imaginary place where a sense of wonder and innocence prevails. We see the inhabitants of this magical realm as if though through the eyes of a child; poetically imagined, yet charged with symbolic meaning.