Western Project is proud to present the debut of paintings and drawings by Brian Porray. Having grown up in Las Vegas and also receiving his MFA from the University of Las Vegas, Porray spins his history and obsessions with science and technology, and a graffiti background into a formal and toxic language. Using paint, printed papers and tape on canvas and panels, the work appears heir to 20th century Futurists such as Balla, Severini and Boccioni. However, living in Las Vegas for twenty odd years provides a particular 'western' perspective as the artist notes:
"okay, so...i've been describing the work as a kind of astro-tweaker pastiche - meaning that i see it as describing a kind of hybrid techno-futuristic fucked-up landscape...one where our meanings and forms are derived from whatever piles of scrappy shit and detritus happen to be laying around - - roll it up in a ball and light it on fire.
in a sci-fi post-apocalyptic type way, i think that we may do well to re-construct things around us with the formal attitudes of tweakers...slipshod with lots of duct tape and mountain dew, but also overly complex and highly sophisticated...i'm trying to describing this visually, so my paintings aren't really abstract at all, but more like psychedelic landscapes filled with broken technological assemblages -- they're like images of machines that have been stripped of any real function or meaning outside of their own visual complexity...kind of like looking at a car after it's been crashed.
basically, as things accelerate they become less and less stable - i like to make the work look as if it's about to meltdown or explode from it's own rapidly expanding architecture. everything in the work is suspect and corrupt - the op art-ish drawings are like snapshots of a system just before it collapses...i also like to say that as the variables in any given system increase, our understanding of that system escalates toward abstraction - - most of the work revolves around this central idea of simultaneously accelerated and attenuated scale. kind of how the stock market is an accelerated idea of the actual physical market - but the variables are huge and beyond calculation...so the images that i'm making don't describe facts, systems, or objects accurately - but in a much more obtuse and accelerated sense.....i think.
but also, i feel strongly that the work should have real visual consequence - like, it should be a real fucking trip to stand in front of...super active and maybe even a bit nauseating - but definitely not shy or passive...really crunchy and saccharine.
things that are grist for the mill:
vegas/methlab decor/science fiction/psychedelic posters/the cramps/astronomy"
With a link to hard edge painting and Op art of the 1960's, his voice veers and blends more accurately with the DYI legacy from the mid 1970's: embrace all vices and virtues - possibly burn them down, and reconstruct them in a searing beauty; but transform them in to a more purposeful meaningful world. All bets are off but the game is surely and raucously on.
Brian Porray is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant 2010. He lives and works in Claremont, California. His work has appeared in New American Paintings #84, and #87. He was recently included in 'Spectrum' at the W. Keith and Janet KelloggUniversity Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona, California, and has shown at Tomkins Projects, Brooklyn, New York, Trifecta Gallery in Las Vegas, and Sheppard Fine Arts in Reno, Nevada.