Brendan Monroe/ Brendan Monroe

United States 1980

Sculpture, Painting, Drawing

brendanmonroe.tumblr.com

Brendan Monroe
Brendan Monroe
Male
United States
1980

Perfectly capable of painting in acrylics, drawing with ink, sculpting with wood and silkscreen printing, Brendan Monroe, aka The Blob, is an American artist who’s constantly challenging himself with new ideas. Unable to choose the favorite, creating a diverse portfolio, keeping things fresh by following simple mantra – when he’s bored with a technique or medium, he moves on to something completely different. Charming and otherworldly, his work keeps a latent base of visual familiarity in both landscapes and figures. With a visual vocabulary inspired by scientific processes and internal landscapes, Monroe forges drawings, paintings, sculptures and occasional commissioned illustrations.

Brendan Monroe aka installation blob was involved in pow wow beach festival in paris
Brendan Monroe – Pitch (Left) – Wedge (Right)

The Art of Brendan Monroe

His work possesses a dream-like quality, and it comes as no surprise since he draws inspiration from his dreams, especially for narratives. Other sources include popular science fiction such as Star Wars and things like The Hobbit and Wheel of Time. More recently, he’s been heavily influenced by the real science and ways it is happening. Undoubtedly a figurative artist, Monroe has made his figures go a long way from being a sort of recurring characters to being faceless beings. These beings are basically the inhabitants of the worlds or scenes he makes. In order to become more simplified, they have lost their features, like faces, hands and feet. “They’re still related but I’ve found that I like them without those things because they really don’t need them” and they are “very understandable without having to have eyes or other human features.”[1]

Brendan Monroe
Brendan Monroe – Two Who Occupy the Same (Left) / Stand-in (Right)

Paintings, Sculptures, and Murals

Bouncing between a variety of mediums, from painting, drawing, to sculpture, and outdoor work does keep things fresh, but Monroe also thinks it would be quite impossible to pick one out and perpetually do it over and over again. He likes the idea that being an artist means that his ideas and portrayals are important, so long as the whatever medium he uses can help achieve that. So it’s significant to keep the work challenging while getting new ideas flowing all the time. Speaking of his favorite materials, Monroe says that recently, his choice has been ink and white gouache on paper. “For color, it’s usually on paper with acrylic. I use brushes most of the time for both and not so often pens, unless maybe it’s for sketches. I also like wood for sculptures because it’s got some inherent beauty and life in it.”[2]

His sculptures have evolved over time, and now, Monroe is also able to create ceramic pieces, like the ones exhibited in Blobography (2015), a solo show that took place at Heath Ceramics in Los Angeles. A fetching, carefully considered myriad of contrasting glazes adorn his small-to-mid scale figurative work — planes of textural, swirling color that look like they were skimmed off the gaseous planets and their moons. The sculptures paired intricately with his wall-hung graphic illustrations, along with a subdued grey-and-white mural. When he was younger, Monroe was a bit into tagging. In 2014, he was invited to participate in POW!WOW! events at Hawaii and Taiwan, which were, according to himself, amazing experiences and “very different from each other in terms of experiencing working environments”.[3]

Brendan Monroe
Brendan Monroe – Waver (Left) / Wiggle (Right)

Personal Life

Born and raised in southern California, Brendan Monroe studied at the Art Center College of Design, where he earned his BFA with honors. His parent used to take him to a yearly parade in Santa Barbara – the Summer Solstice Parade. The guys wearing all kinds of colorful clothes and their huge paper mache heads are one of Monroe’s earliest memories. Around that time, he also started making art, though he didn’t believe that art or commercial art and design could be a career until sometime in junior college. He is married to Evah Fan, another immensely talented painter, illustrator, and sculptor. He is extremely versatile, but it was his painting skills that earned him a place on our list Young American Painters To Follow.

Brendan Monroe lives and works in Oakland.

References:

  1. Anonymous [2015], 20 questions with Brendan Monroe, Cinders Gallery [November 30,2016]
  2. Ibidem
  3. van Loon J., Maelstrom: An Interview with Brendan Monroe, anobiumlit.com [November 30,2016]

Featured image: Brendan Monroe working on a wall – photo credits Brandon Shigeta, photo courtesy of POW!WOW!
All other images courtesy of the Brendan Monroe

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Behold! The BlobRichard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2015BlobographyBoiler Room at Heath Ceramics, San Francisco, CAGroup
2015Lost in SpaceGrumpy Bert, Brooklyn, NYGroup
201520 Years Under the Influence of JuxtapozLos Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2015The 2nd Annual POW! WOW!: Exploring The New Contemporary MovementHonolulu Museum School of the Arts, Honolulu, HIGroup
2014BlobographyHeath Ceramics, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Dime Bag 4The End is Near, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2014Corrective CourseMarcas Gallery, Santa Ana, CAGroup
2014Decade of DecadunceCinders Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2014Black and Night with Evah FanShimokitazawa Generations, TaipeiGroup
2014First Annual EMA ShowHellion Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2014Gold Blood, Magic WeirdosBackwoods Gallery, Melbourne, AustraliaGroup
2014LAX-TXL, pop-up collaboration between Thinkspace and Urban NationBerlin, GermanyGroup
2014POW! WOW!: Exploring The New Contemporary MovementHonolulu Museum School of the Arts, Honolulu, HIGroup
2013Melting into the FloorRichard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2013TurningGalerie L.J., Paris, FranceSolo
2013Don’t Wake DaddyGallery Feinkunst Kruger, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2013RisqueLong Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CAGroup
2013Beer is ArtLa Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Buddy System InvitationalBreeze Block Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2013Wider Than a PostcardBreeze Block Gallery, Portland ORGroup
2013SuggestivismCasa dell'Architettura/Acquario Romano, Rome, ItalyGroup
2012Observations of Light and MatterCooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2012Miami ProjectRichard Heller Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2012Don’t Wake Daddy VIIGalerie Feinkunst Krüger, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2012End of the WorldCompound Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2012Ceramiques ContemporainesGalerie L.J., Paris, FranceGroup
2012SugestivismBold Hype in New York, NYGroup
2012Le Salon du Dessin Contemporain - Drawing Now ParisGalerie L.J., Paris, FranceGroup
2012Quarante Par TrenteGalerie L.J., Paris, FranceGroup
2011Human NatureEspacio Minimo, Madrid, SpainGroup
2011ResurrectionCinders, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2011East West ConnectAbove Second Gallery, Hong Kong Group
2010FigmentsGalerie L.J., Paris, FranceSolo
2009Between Here and HereRichard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2009This Is the End of the World as We Know ItMOHS, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2009Clay and ResponseHeath, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008NodesWhite Flag Projects Library, St. Louis, MOSolo
2008MircocosmFaye Fleming Gallery, Genève, SwitzerlandSolo
2008Dwindle to a TiptoeGalerie L.J. Beaubourg, Paris, FranceGroup
2008Bed and BreakfastLittle Cakes, New York, NY Group
2007InsidesRichard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2007Une EstivaleGalerie L.J., Paris, FranceGroup
2007Pale AnalogiesThe Public Trust, Dallas TXGroup
2006Blob Blob Blob…Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2006Carry-On, Home of Marjory Graue Marfa TXGroup
2006Drawn to ExpressionWilliamson Gallery, Pasadena, CAGroup
2006LA Art in New York, Art FairRichard Heller Gallery, New York NYGroup
2006BMG OneBLK-MRKT Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
2006Kamen Rider Lives, Diepzout Maastricht, NetherlandsGroup
2005Momentary MurkGiant Robot, San Francisco, CASolo
2005What Leaves TrackJunc. Gallery, Los Angeles CASolo
2005Unnatural HistoryAidan Savoy Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005Ghosts Gather at NightRHYS Gallery, Boston MAGroup