Andy Heck Boyd and Bryant Canelo
, Triest, 526 Wilson Ave Brooklyn NY February 7 – March 5, by appointment
The neo-Victorian “philosophy of brick” was a plan to return to the humble domestic constructions of the Victorian era in rejection of the concrete-obsessed modernists of the 1950s. Brick houses are humble beginnings for humble people. They are safe and solid. But bricks are not always for solid foundations or structural integrity. Bricks rupture houses and create a path for chaos in the form of walls, graffiti, algae.
Bryant Canelo and Andy Heck Boyd’s exhibition at Triest is about bricks and their liberation from meaning. Boyd’s series of brick wall paintings creates a world where bricks and other industrial materials play with animated characters, cars, toys and colors. The world moves from wall to floor to chair to table: Canelo’s clumps of Spanish moss cover the wooden floor and a large piece of leather is draped across a table and chair in a manner that begs to be painted. A canvas laying in the middle of the room which reads “your [sic] so broken” begs to be treaded upon. The exhibition as a small map-less habitat.
The paintings are direct, sincere, simplistic, and simultaneously ironic, taunting. Rapidly alternating between extreme minimalism (a few brush strokes of red on a small canvas) and material-maximalism (thick layers of oils, tape, various other unknown materials), the paintings display the variety of approaches to constructing the Boyd-Canelo toy-universe (cartoonoverse). The cartoonoverse, whose characters include Mickey Mouse and a middle-aged Glenn Gould, is open – like the bricks that make up its wall and the oil paint that fills its center, this world dries over an extended period of time after the artists have left.
Being an open system, there’s a certain amount of chaos that is allowed to flow through the paintings and assault the viewer. Simple representation or extractable meaning proves elusive – MESSAGE: (no message)
, a white canvas tuned nearly grey from the heavy confluence of various materials with “MESSAGE” written atop in black, avoids any hint at attempting to expand on truisms, which is why I don’t feel the need to destroy it.
Bricks and toys have become objects of particular fascination recently in academic philosophy with regards to thinking through AI, cybernetics and games. It turns out LEGOs (bricks) are more representative of the world than the world is of itself. There is nothing Carl Andre about these bricks, because they do not seek to bore, but rather to open up a world of cartoons and games. Glenn Gould will play his red antique piano, mickey gets up from his chair and reads from a book, Lou Reed drives a black Ferrari into a brick wall. Fun will be had and no meaning will be found.