Brandenburg is an interesting character. He lives in Ohio, is approaching age 60 and refers to being a self-taught artist as having “mad art skeelz”. His “pop surrealist intervention art” began as a family tradition of gag gifts.
Do I ever feel guilty about painting over someone else’s work ? Nope. I only modify artwork and objects that have been mass produced as general consumer goods: these can be found in commercial flea markets, ‘starving artists sales’ at hotels, the supermarket, or ordered directly from the source (production line paintings made in China). An original, unique piece of art is off limits; even if it’s a stinker from a 7th grade art class. I take the mundane and turn it into something special.
At least he’s got a healthy sense of humor. (It kind of takes both balls and levity to paint a bong on a Rockwell and price it at $800, right?) Brandenburg’s art is not without commentary though. In “Freedom From Stress,” he brings the famous Norman Rockwell “Freedom From Want” into modern times with what’s truly needed to pacify today’s American family: booze, pot and pills.
You can preview the work for his show here. Robert Brandenburg’s Pooh… and Other Sh*t opens tomorrow, Saturday, January 7th and runs through January 28th. There will be an opening reception at the gallery between 7-10PM, and quoth Brandenburg: “There will be laughs, booze, prints for sale, and possibly a midget or Naomi Campbell look-alike.”
I wish I could attend. I wish Gallery1988SF still existed. I wish I had endless time to make animated gifs out of all of Brandenburg’s before and after paintings.