Saturday, April 16, 2016

BRIAN WASHBURN: Mechanical Mayhem

Brian Washburn, Ceci n'est pas une pipe, oil on paper

When you meet Brian Washburn's work, you meet him. He doesn't just stick his neck out, he puts himself out there, and even does a little turn and lets you see him in the round. Take a good look. This is who he is, this is what you get, take it or leave it. If you get into a staring contest with this work, it won't blink.

Mr Twister, 2007-2008, oil on paper

This matters. Brian Washburn calls his work something like nonchalant drawing. Which is to say that you get what you get, no more, no less. When you see a lot of his work you come to expect this. That also says a lot. Like a visual Bernie Sanders, he says what he says, and never strays. He has it down because he is not making it up as he goes along. It is who he is. It also reveals another aspect of the work and the artist: just how unexpectedly precise Brian Washburn is.

Jig-N-Pig, 2008, oil on paper

With that out of the way, we get to simply engage each work, these drawings, oil on paper, these at once elegant and comical cartoon contraptions, with their rough texture, with their jaunty demeanor, with their implied third dimension and pent up motion, on their own terms.

Deep Tail Dancer,  2008, oil on paper

Part characters, part happenings, part appartions that spring from his head roaring and ready to unleash themselves upon the world, his images take on a life of their own. He invents them from the everyday around him: little frankensteins.

Untitled, 2011-2012, oil on paper, 40 x 29 inches

They have personalities, they have engines, they have places to go and mischief to perform. Like some Cat in the Hat, Maxwell's silver hammer, artist as wizard, Brian Washburn populates the world with his fiesty, beasty machines that frankly look like they may be up to no good. They roust a dull world. They wake it up. They make it take notice. They serve notice. Delightfully so. They make it laugh. They gun their engines. They honk their horns. They thumb their noses. In our general direction. These are Brian Washburn's Ambassadors. His wacky, whimsical, whirling dervishes. Beware. And have a blast!

Brian Washburn, St Malo, oil on paper

Brian WashburnSmoke Sparkle Lizard, 2008,  oil on paper

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, 2016

Brian WashburnHulk Smash, 2016,  oil on paper

Brian Washburn,  untitled, oil on paper, 2016/ in progress

Brian Washburn, The Expectant, 2016/ in progress,  oil on paper

Brian Washburn, Sea Anchor, 2016/ in progress,  oil on paper

No comments: