MOGADISHNI AAR is proud to present the exhibition “Hollow Ground and False Guidance” by American artist Bradley Castellanos (b. 1974). The exhibition has been realized through the kind collaboration of Caren Golden Fine Art, NY.
Bradley Castellanos is fascinated by the unattractive environments of New York City, its boroughs, and rural America (Pennsylvania, upstate New York, and New Hampshire). He shows us urban landscapes, fall-apart places and dystopic toxic landscapes. The process begins when he sets out to explore the landscape in search of a subject or to gather materials that he brings back to his studio to arrange for a photograph. Dependent upon his intentions the subject could be urban, industrial, pastoral or a combination thereof. Castellanos shoots the photographs with a large format camera, occasionally works with them in Photoshop and then has prints made. The trashy urban and rural settings are further ripped apart and destroyed when Castellanos meticulously cuts out the photographs that he has taken then glues it onto his paintings. He adds resin and oil paint in acidy colors which put together, transforms into post-apocalyptic yet romanticized landscapes on his canvases.
The beauty of decay has been brought forward before by romantic painters of the 19th Century in their love of ruins in beautiful landscapes. These works have a sense of romantic nostalgia leading back to a classical era. Castellanos’ ruins, however, is found in urban landscapes reflecting on the interior, political, and environmental landscapes of contemporary life.
Castellanos’ source material includes literature and non fiction (Albert Camus, Don Delillo, Cormac McCarthy, Mark Twain, Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, The New Yorker and many others), National Public Radio, film and movies, and contemporary and past painters (Chinese Landscape Painting, Casper David Friedrich, Hudson River School, Francisco Goya, Gerhard Richter, Fred Tomaselli, Daniel Richter, Peter Doig and many others). Despite the dystopic images Castellanos’ works succeed in seducing the viewer by its unique tactility and overall aesthetic.
Bradley Castellanos has among other places exhibited at David Zwirner Gallery in NY, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NY, and later on this Year his works can be seen in the exhibition “Future Tense: Reshaping The Landscape” at Neuberger Museum of Art, NY.