The first three are from my “Mexico period.” A time, almost 18 years, when I was spending at least half a year (sometimes more) in that great and generous country. The drawing is earlier than that.
Nature has an order, a life-cycle: growth, decay, and regeneration. We humans follow the same pattern, yet while in this rotation we seem to do our darndest (willingly or unwittingly) to obstruct and destruct.
My abstract landscapes incorporate birds, skies, water, and colors that are surreal. My mark-making and compositions may be dense or serene but they always have interruptions, disturbances, rifts in what otherwise would be a calm and quiet space. Geometric shapes and patterns contrast the organic forms and signify man-made structures, physical and psychological: fences, barriers, and borders. Rings contain and exclude, provide focus and yet contain nothing. Rectangles and repetitive lines and forms suggest structure, buildings, fences, and passageways.
My hope is to create questions in the minds of viewers, a sense of uncertainty.
Brian David Downs
Brian David Downs is a graduate of the Maine College of Art MFA program, 2019. His work is rooted in traditional drawing and painting practices with an emphasis on techniques in Maximalism and horror vacui. Downs has been creating visual narratives focused on examining and engaging the literary works of French philosopher/anthropologist Georges Bataille and 21st-century cultural theorist Mark Fisher. Juxtaposing Bataille’s studies on eroticism and transgression against Mark Fisher’s writings on “Capitalist Realism” and “Gothic Materialism,” visual allegories are presented as a mirror to contemporary society.
Compositions read with a crystallographic balance to an op art disfiguration, causing various physical symptoms to overwhelm the viewer. Downs’s drawing/painting output expresses criticisms and understandings of the human condition under neoliberal capitalist rule to point out the increasing techno absorption and blurring of the common citizen’s everyday life and societal shifts and advances in the 21st century.
Image at top: Alan Clark, Anywhere It Wants to Take You, watercolor on paper, 8½ x 9 in.