Brian Briggs

July 29 – August 19, 2016
Opening Reception July 29, 7-10 pm

Central Park Gallery is pleased to announce  buddy buddy, two iterative series by Brian Briggs.

A first glance the work gives the impression of two decidedly different groups, things that resemble fragments of other things and things that look like men’s shirts. The artist is candid that that pretty well sums it up. One can keep from getting too involved and the works can be very simple things- light gestures, easy to take in. For those more curious and willing to scrutinize, there are puzzles- puzzles whose clues lead one down confounding alleyways and to dead ends. And this can be dissatisfying, feeling akin to not being let in on the joke. For Briggs, this is where the work truly is: when you pass the point of not getting it and remain engaged in imagining the steps by which these objects came to be made at all.
Briggs’ fragment works are rent through a process of chemical forgery. They begin with an original shape, most likely a scrap repetitively used in the studio. Products of an almost maniacal thrift, never sure that any one is totally beyond reuse, these scraps begin to pile up. Those that stick around the longest (and there is a special hierarchy in the artist’s studio) are eventually recreated; cast with a special blend of polyurethane resins that imitate the makeup of the original material or digitally scanned and three dimensionally printed. Some copies are hand-painted to closely match the originals- closely, but not exactly- the artist inviting subtle differences in color and composition that render almost-doubles. Some originals are processed so heavily or damaged in the molding process that the positives must be painted from memory. In these cases, the copy passes as original.

Both groups of work are embedded with an impossible code: using unusual materials and methods to make passable replicas. As with the fragments, the shirt material is generated from a specific plastic that is processed in layers to mimic the original cloth. Appearing at first as a wholly separate investigation, they instead provide a point of access to the fragments by helping decipher their foreignness. One can be recognized as a forgery of an object in the vernacular while the other requires the original for context. In each, every detail is considered and fabricated with the understanding that the result will vary measurably from the original. In this difference is the key.
Process is undeniably a critical part of buddy buddy, but Briggs is less interested in presenting discrete objects that speak to a way of working, than showing a means for looking at what’s in between. The work is in the middle. It asks one to fill in the space surrounding. If you search for the pattern, you’ll inevitably find more and more space between each repainted mistake mark. When there is just enough similarity between things, it allows one to ask how and why they got so close but didn’t become the same.

Brian Briggs b. Oklahoma City, OK, 1985, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received a BFA and BArch from  the Rhode Island School of Design and a Certificate from the Architectural Association. His work has been exhibited at Sober and Lonely (Johannesburg) and Winning/Losing (Los Angeles). Residencies have included Vermont Studio Center and Housework.