Leo Kesting Gallery Presents:
Brian Leo - Truck Bomb -
Dam Stuhltrager - Mark Andreas
April 10 - 27, 2008
Opening Reception: Thur April 10, 7-10 pm
812 Washington St (at Gansevoort) NY, NY 10014
After Party at Level V : hosted by Adele Balderston
In this latest collection of works titled Truck Bomb, Brian Leo completes his series of paintings revolving around the morbid, yet feasible prediction of President Bush declaring Martial Law to postpone the elections of 2008 with a pseudo-terrorist attack.
Truck Bomb, a formation of canvases stretching over 12 feet tall to create the recognizable icon of Optimus Prime a nostalgic child hold toy from the Transformers, which symbolizes innocence for those of the artist's generation. "The selection of Optimus Prime, a character designed in Japan and manufactured in China, speaks of the art world's current bandwagon perspective of Art from Asia. It parallels strong international criticism of China with its exports of toxic materials discovered in food, toys, electronics and its political thought towards Tibet and religious persecution," explains the artist Brian Leo.
Often working within a dialog of contradiction, Brian Leo, a 31 year old artist and first generation American of Korean and Italian descent says, "Optimus has a strong sense of justice and righteousness, and has dedicated himself to the protection of all life, particularly the inhabitants of the U.S.A.; he will battle his foes with unyielding resolve to uphold this belief. However the irony of this character comes from the slave shops he is manufactured in and the direct opposition his morals entail towards the oppressive government in which he was born."
Along with this centerpiece, the artist will also exhibit clusters of small paintings which address culture, politics and American identity. The cavalcade of tiny images exhibited en masse, show events of deep cultural significance flanked by bizarre meditations on moments of Leo's personal experience. Each tiny piece, in turn, contradicts itself; episodes rank with chaos and suffering explode off the canvas in bubblegum garage-pop tones. His use of bright colors and whimsical humor provide a flashlight and sense of hope, which makes this often dark content seem less so.
Brian Leo has exhibited in Tokyo, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and galleries throughout N.Y.C. and Brooklyn. He was also noted in the July 29 th 2007 issue of The New York Times as well as the Brooklyn Rail Armory Review from April 2006. He holds a B.F.A. from Rutgers/ Mason Gross School of Arts.
From its origins as Capla Kesting Fine Art in Brooklyn, the Leo Kesting Gallery launched in 2003 and developed an aggressive campaign to introduce new figurative artists to collectors and art supporters. Leo Kesting offers the art viewing public an opportunity to see forthcoming talents in an intimate setting where undiscovered, cutting-edge artists are presented to the contemporary art scene.
Leo Kesting Gallery is located at 812 Washington St at the corner of Gansevoort in Manhattan's Meat Packing District. A, C, E, or L train to 8th Ave and 14th Street or 1,2,3 train to 14th Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 11am until 7pm.