Man Bartlett
Artist. Thinker. Radical Seeker.
  • Brent Birnbaum  
    Untitled (Ikea) 
    2011 
    image courtesy the artist 

    Studio Location: Sunset Park (Brooklyn Army Terminal) 

    I met Brent a few months back after a post I did using one of his works as reference/inspiration point. He contacted me all like “thanks!” and I was like “thanks!” We made plans to swap visits and I finally made it out to his studio a few weeks ago. So glad I did. Super nice guy, and he’s up to a variety colorful things down there in the crazy environs of the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

    Maybe it was because of all the visual stimulation (Snuggie Prayer Rugs, luscious pop-porny collage-wheels, cut up Vans…), but this “Ikea” work struck me. I’m also a sucker for minimalism, and this has some great reference points. On the one hand it’s a pretty straight forward found-objects piece, but there is also a formalist logic to the organization of it that keeps it compelling. And kept me thinking about it. There’s a hidden history to it. I found myself wanting to know about each person who had owned their piece of the puzzle. How boring their lives may or may not be. And I loved the idea/image of Brent scavenging these from all over the city. I can’t remember if I asked about taking any bed bug precautions, but either way I didn’t get too close…

    His sites are so worth checking out. So much more than I can go into in this short post, but a good start: Ice Ice Maybe, Brent Birnbaums and the Pour Man’s Country Club… 

    He’ll also be showing at Scope in Miami this year. If I’m down there, you can bet I’ll be looking for him. 

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