Thunder-Sky, Inc. presents “Outcasts from Hollywood (the Greatest Celebrity Art Show Event): Antonio Adams and Emily Brandehoff.” The show opens August 22, 2014 and closes October 10, 2014. “How Deep Is Your Love,” a Thunder-Sky, Inc. fundraiser happening in the basement gallery opens and closes on the same dates.
Adams and Brandehoff often work side by side on Saturdays in the basement at Thunder-Sky, Inc. For “Outcasts from Hollywood,” they have created both separate suites of work as well as collaborations that investigate/celebrate/satirize the poetry and absurdity of celebrity culture and its aftermath.
Adams is a well-known and respect artist, as well as Artist-in-Residence, at Thunder-Sky, Inc. He has shown his work in New York City, Chicago, London, England, and Los Angeles, among other places. Brandehoff considers herself an “artist with a day job” whose sensitive yet very sarcastic works often depict the ironies and excesses of pop culture.
Adams is building a self-directed mythology in much of his work, which is here exemplified by his penultimate painting, “Outcast from Hollywood (2013/14),” a sequel to 2012’s penultimate work, “Unrealized and Unforeseen” from his 2012 one-person show here at Thunder-Sky. In “Outcast from Hollywood,” he depicts a very staged (in more ways than one) tableau featuring himself in his usual Art Master garb, this time partnered with Brandehoff. They both seem to be presenting some commandments kind of like a show business duo channeling Moses coming down from the mountain. Their audience is made up of a variety of first- and second- and third-rate celebrities, many of whom are crying and gnashing their teeth in a variety of ways. It’s a Technicolor a poster for a great Biblical epic in the Cecil B. Demille school, and yet it’s also a beautiful farce informed by tabloids and websites. Adams is a preeminent social satirist, and also somehow the best kind of super-fan: his love for celebrity foibles and the surrealism of famous lives gives his art a phantasmagorical sheen, but also a strangely sentimental intent. He simply loves the stupidity of it all.
Brandehoff loves farce as well, but hers is a little darker and a little less about mythology and more about deconstructing the myths set up for us by social and regular old media. In her deceptively simple, highly designed paintings and drawings on wood, she finds the perfect pop-culture moments to transform into cartoons about disintegration, loss and foolishness. Her penultimate piece turns out to be “Can I Kiss You Please? (2014),” a skillfully executed drawing of Philip Seymour Hoffman as Scotty in Boogie Nights, a sort of Mad Magazine poem to unrequited love and lives.
In the center of the gallery is a suite of collaborative paintings by both, titled “Michael Jackson Thriller 1, 2, 3, and 4,” which depicts a merging of two similar yet completely aesthetically divergent universes, with Adams filling in the gap with a nonsense narrative that seems to make more sense than real life.
And please check out Under-Sky, if you have a chance. “How Deep Is Your Love,” a fundraiser for our little non-profit gallery, is a cash-and-carry goldmine.
Keith Banner, Thunder-Sky, Inc.