The local art scene will acquire a wacky new counterpart with the ingenious works of contemporary artist Brian Bress, who will make his solo exhibition debut in the Western United States in July at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The multimedia pieces of Interventions: Brian Bress will be on display at the museum from July 15 through September 20, 2012. Bress will also present a special additional piece based on SBMA’s 19th-century European collection that will hang in Ridley-Tree Gallery.
Interventions: Brian Bress showcases five video portraits, each with a distinctive palette and visual appeal. His works, made using flat-screen monitors, initially seem comparable to the typical photograph or illustration that depicts abstract figures. Yet Bress’s costumed figures move at a virtually indiscernible pace, intentionally created by the artist to both unsettle and intrigue viewers.
Bress hand-constructed each element for his works, using wigs, collage masks, foam rubber suits and painted costumes to adorn his masterpieces. The resulting portraits at times blend in or visibly differ, mimicking the “where’s Waldo” effect and prompting spectators to ponder about individual identity and social representation.
Bress, an up-and-coming artist known for his uniquely crafted art, received his MFA from UCLA and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited his work at prestigious museums around the country, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and Arthouse in Texas. His 2007 video Under Cover was part of the California Video exhibition at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His work has been reviewed in numerous publications, such as The New York Times and Artforum.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St., is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.sbma.net or call 805/963-4364.
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