Discovering hundreds of dead honeybees on a California beach would be an unlucky omen for most, but for Los Angeles photographer Matthew Brandt, it was a sign to return to the studio, honeybees in tow. The result: a set of gum-bichromate prints that literally placed his subjects into the picture. “Photography’s always been an unruly medium based on experimentation and playing with process,” says curator Catherine Evans, who organized “Sticky/Dusty/Wet,” Brandt’s first one-person museum exhibition opening today at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. “But the more I know about Matthew’s work, the more complex and fascinating it becomes, both exuberant and steeped in history.”
In another set of images on view at CMA, Brandt again incorporates the physical world, soaking landscapes with the water of the lakes and reservoirs he photographed to produce liquid hallucinations awash in psychedelic hues of electric violet and acid yellow. “Visually stunning and stylistically diverse,” notes Evans, “each series has its own perceptual handle.”
Across the pond at Paris Photo (on through November 17), the artist’s L.A. gallery, M+B, has been briskly selling new work from its booth at the Grand Palais, including a variation on Brandt’s architectural photographs comprised of collected dust. His latest iterations resurrect Irving Gill’s Dodge House—a midcentury West Hollywood landmark demolished in 1970—in a fine film of soot from the apartments that replaced it.
Next month, M+B will stage its own solo show for Brandt, “Stars, Dust, Bubble Wrap,” marking a move towards the figurative with his series of silkscreened-velvet bodies. In January, the Cooper Union and UCLA-trained 31-year-old will share wall space with Gerhard Richter, James Welling, Marco Breuer, and Alison Rossiter in “What is a Photograph?” at New York’s International Center of Photography.
With a few minutes to spare before dashing off to see another one of his pieces at the Palais de Tokyo, the easygoing Californian spoke from Paris about his process and what he’s up to next.
Check the interview at interviewmagazine.com