The repurposed nature of Chavis’ materials allows the artist to “breathe life into another man’s trash,” fusing the weightiness of memory and time with the possibilities of remaking that which is broken, unused, or abandoned.
In the East Wing, Goldfinch is pleased to present “for colored queers,” a solo exhibition by St. Louis-based artist Brandon Chavis. The exhibition is on view from June 12 to July 23.
Brandon Chavis’ large-scale portraits incorporate found objects, paint, and repurposed textile fragments to explore not only the subjects depicted, but the lives of cast-offs and the people who discard them. In an ongoing body of work that engages biography and subjectivity, Chavis incorporates information gleaned from interviews with his subjects into their visual depictions, while simultaneously “dissecting materials in order to learn their anatomical structures,” the artist explains. More like a palm reader than a documentarian, Chavis views his portraits as “energy collages” and “emotional depictions,” nodding to their sensual explorations of personhood and self-identity.
From intimate partners to friends and family (both chosen and biological), the subjects in Chavis’ work are vibrantly rendered, their sexualities, desires, and pleasures existing in expansive spaces that are large enough to step into, if we could. The repurposed nature of Chavis’ materials allows the artist to “breathe life into another man’s trash,” fusing the weightiness of memory and time with the possibilities of remaking that which is broken, unused, or abandoned. Though rooted in life, the scale of each piece gives its figure mythological qualities and a heightened sense of eroticism, in which Chavis’ subjects appear to revel—in control, determination, and joy.
Brandon Chavis is a multi-disciplinary artist and teacher whose work merges medium specific concepts including workshops and found object compositions. He received his Bachelors of Science in Elementary Teaching from Harris Stowe University. Born in the north side of St. Louis, MO is works use his experiences and their visual elements to inform his practice. He is currently a studio member at The Luminary in St. Louis. Recent exhibitions include “Dikhotomia” at Monaco, in St. Louis.