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Madison Ave New York

Brandon Ballengée

L’Art de la Solitude (The Art of Loneliness)

November 10, 2023 – January 27, 2024

L’Art de la Solitude (The Art of Loneliness), Brandon Ballengée’s debut solo exhibition at the gallery, presents a poignant and multifaceted exploration of the interplay between art, biodiversity, and humanity.  Showcasing more than three dozen works selected from the 1990s to 2023, the exhibition is a testament to Ballengée’s engagement with the ongoing ecological crisis and the profound ramifications of species loss, prominently coined as the Anthropocene or Sixth Great Extinction. It is an artistic intervention that beckons viewers to confront the realities and consider the urgent need for preservation and conservation.  L’Art de la Solitude (The Art of Loneliness) runs from November 10 through December 30, 2023, with the OPENING RECEPTION on Friday, November 10, 6 – 8 PM, accompanied by CENTRAL PARK BIRD WALK on November 11 and THE ARTIST TALK on November 18 at the gallery.

Brandon Ballengée, an artist, biologist, and environmental advocate, utilizes a myriad of mediums and artistic expressions to mirror the current ecological predicament.  At the core of this exhibition lie three distinct series, each foraging into the complexities of our environmental challenges:

FRAMES OF ABSENCE

‘Frameworks of Absence,’ initiated in 2006, meticulously embodies the extinct species’ haunting absence.  By physically cutting images of vanished animals from historical prints, Ballengée forges what he terms ‘Frameworks of Absence.’  These assemblages not only signify the species lost but also involve a transformative event, where the burned remains of these cut images are gathered in urns, symbolizing a personal and collective remembrance.

THE CRUDE OIL PAINTINGS

The ‘Crude Oil Paintings’ series, which commenced in 2020, immerses itself in the enigma of lost fish species endemic to the Gulf of Mexico post-Deepwater Horizon spill. The artist embarks on an arduous quest to portray these missing creatures, drawing from preserved specimens and utilizing contaminated sediments and dispersants to craft their haunting portraits. This series serves as a contemplative reflection on what is obscured and irretrievably lost due to our collective treatment of the environment.

SOS PAINTINGS

Continuing his artistic journey into the present and beyond, the ‘SOS Paintings’ provide an introspective look into the looming threat of deep-water mining in the Gulf of Mexico.  These colossal paintings, created using unconventional materials like thrift bed sheets and latex house paint, are interpretations of deep-sea species at risk due to this emerging deep-sea mining industry.  Ballengée captures the mystery and beauty of these enigmatic creatures and ignites contemplation on the potential repercussions of human intervention in this untouched abyssal zone.

L’Art de la Solitude (The Art of Loneliness) is an artistic journey reflecting our ecological plight. Through three compelling series, ‘Frameworks of Absence,’ ‘The Crude Oil Paintings,’ and ‘SOS Paintings,’  Brandon Ballengée epitomizes the essence of loss caused by species extinction and environmental perils. The exhibition’s haunting images of extinct species, the ghostly portrayal of lost Gulf creatures, and the impending threat of deep-sea mining converge. As a catalyst for reflection, the exhibition urges viewers to contemplate the implications of our collective actions on the fragile fabric of our environment.  L’Art de la Solitude (The Art of Loneliness) is a visual poetry and a thought-provoking crusade.


REVIEW:

https://www.villagevoice.com/ecology-minded-artist-brandon-ballengee-pictures-what-weve-lost/

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