Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Thursday: Brent Ozaeta (Chambers @ 916)

The artist Brent Ozaeta has his installation Introverted Floating World available for viewing at the Cambers @ 916 gallery through February 26th, 2011. These are silkscreened prints on wood panels measuring 62.5” by 42” and silkscreened paper measuring 11x14.

At first glance, the prints could easily be dismissed for their largely abstract patterns, difficult to recognize content and lack of color variation. But it is exactly when these elements have been parsed and understood to be present that the works take on a complexity worthy of examination.

Not being of Asian influence it is difficult for me to identify cultural references. One figure is in the style of anime. Others are more representational of the human form. Some can be disturbing. In one print girls appear to be performing surgery on a man’s face. Another figure appears with head in hands while framed by line and patterns. The choice of pink, a sometimes gentle, loving color, is a strong juxtaposition. Even the three smaller prints also available for viewing do not escape a conflicting depiction. The central image, like the others, is dominated by intricate flowers and abstract patterns. What appears to be the joyous movement of children through this landscape is accompanied by checkered patterns completely eliminating facial features.

Many of the abstract patterns of the the three large panels have a repeating pixelated design. A nod to our digital age. These are largely geometrically fractured and layered as if collaged together to build a uniform piece. Pink is woven, imposed on and hidden under a sea of black. In the smaller prints black has been replaced by a dark red and more naturalistic patterns and representations.

Ozaeta’s work possess mystery, by the artist’s own admission and intent. This quality is well executed and holds the viewer’s attention. One can place themselves into the mood or an interpretation of the visuals. The patterns and mystery combine to create a jumping off point before descending into a Rorschach test.

Jeremy Wenrich


  1. Hmmm, this looks awfully 2D to me, though well written.

  2. That was a silly mistake... back to the galleries for me.