an exhibition of new paintings by Marcy Brafman,
May 31 – June 27, 2011.
Brafman’s second solo show at 532 Gallery with a new body of work employing a variety of tools and motifs that were only half realized in previous creations. The title “PEARLESCENT” comes from the exploration of specialty formulations of One Shot Oil Enamel, the glossy, viscous fluid pigment used by sign painters and employed here with spray paint. Pearlescent, Fluorescent, Krylon, Montana Paint, and sometimes melted Crayolas, take on a form which is both extremely engaging but sticks to the repertoire she has popularized, of taking invisible icons and making them very overt, stylizing them with the medium and gestures of painterliness bordering on graffiti. These are paintings born of Jackson Pollock, the end of nature, comic strips, cartoons, rock n roll, black ops insignia, John Singer Sargent and a long toxic immersion in the living billboard of electronic and digital life. They are also mashed up with urban street poetry and American highway.
PEARLESCENT continues the artist’s exploration into the way symbols, signifiers, and half remembered gestures of the media landscape make up our collective psyche. The paintings of Marcy Brafman can be considered portraits of situations which are inherently symbolic, sometimes taking on symbol as icon, and mining it for humanistic traits mired in narrative that exist outside of fine arts but not outside of the human condition. Another painter might spend time trying to re-insert the symbol into the category or scenario from which it first appeared. But this might possibly obscure the symbol, obfuscating the process of discerning its efficacy and its inevitability. Instead, Brafman restates the symbol itself as a central esthetic event, as evidence of a gesture and its philosophical importance.