Monday, May 27, 2013

Brandon Araujo at Domy

Robert Boyd

In the Fall, Cody Ledvina will be opening a new art space in the current Domy space called Brandon. So it was a little confusing to see this sign in Brasil (the restaurant connected to Domy).

And it was funny that Ledvina's name was so much more prominent than Brandon Araujo's. But this exhibit may give us an idea of how Ledvina will use Domy's space. One one hand, you have the deliberate hilarious amateurism of the painted sign. On the other hand, you have this big sign in the restaurant where hundreds of people will see it. They'll laugh at the misspelling, but will be intrigued by it. Maybe they'll be too busy eating to go next door to Domy right away. That's OK--Ledvina has that covered, too.

Installation of Brandon Araujo paintings on the wall of Brasil

Brandon Araujo, untitled, 2013, acrylic and spray paint, 16 x 20 inches

There are three different kinds of paintings in this exhibit: chrome paintings (like the one above), blue paintings and Kapton paintings. Kapton is a high-tech polyimide film. (No, I have no idea what "polyimide" is.) Anyway, this film and tape seems to have a bunch of high-tech uses, and as far as I know, it is not a commonly used art material. The wing-shaped painting above is one of the Kapton paintings.

Brandon Araujo, untitled, 2013, spray paint, plaster and Kapton on canvas, 11 x 14 inches

You can see the Kapton tape at the top and bottom of untitled above. But for me, what was more interesting about these small paintings was the effect of the spray paint on the highly textured plaster. Because the spray paint hits it an an angle, it makes the relief seem deeper than it is. It's a very interesting visual effect.

For the three small Kapton paintings, Ledvina painted a trompe l'oeil brick shelf for them to rest on.

Brandon Araujo, untitled, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

Araujo does something similar with the acrylic blue paintings as he does with the plaster and spray-paint on the Kapton paintings. I can't quite dissect the technique he's using, but it looks as if he lays down some thick acrylic, then after allowing it to dry, he goes back in and glazes it blue. This creates a strong relief effect which I find quite beautiful.

Brandon Araujo, untitled, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

Brandon Araujo, untitled, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

I can't find much about Brandon Araujo online. I know he's been in a few group shows locally and that he has a BFA from the University of Houston. But his biographical info is mostly irrelevant to the matter at hand, which is that this is a fine show. And it benefits from high quality curating (including the silly-ass sign).


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