ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY
BRAD BENEDICT’S SIDESHOW: MOODS FOR MODERNS
Curated by Brad Benedict
Sideshow includes works of over 30 diverse artists who share a common attitude, the genesis of which was the "New Pop" of the mid 1980s. That attitude -- over the years described by various names such as Pop Surrealism, Lowbrow, New Brow, Underground -- has been the hallmark of a generation seeking to stimulate, to grab attention, and occasionally to shock.
These artists, now as well as then, are eclectic in their techniques, media, styles, influences and ideas. Yet they are linked by their shared faith in the power of highly personal images in an increasingly faceless society. They don't smooth over the rough corners of their subjects, these creators express their unconventional and iconoclastic visions through irony, through turning familiar dimensions of the American Dream inside out or upside down, through brash colors, through exaggeration, and very often through humor. The humor is essential. It keeps self-righteousness and pretentiousness at a minimum, while highlighting the absurdity of so much of what passes as real life.
Writing for Juxtapoz Magazine, CR Stecyk III observed, "The Sideshow is Brad's unique extravaganza, with previous incarnations launching aesthetic revolutions. Sentient beings chart those original exhibitions as being ground zero for much of what is accepted as le culture moderne. Benedict's Sideshow is treatise on the old and true augmenting the forces of the new and bold."
Brad Benedict is founder of the influential Paper Moon Graphics and creator of the retail store, Heaven: The Supermarket of Pop Culture (with a retro luncheonette that offered Robert Rauschenburgers and Claes Oldenburgers on the menu). As Juxtapoz founder Robert Williams put it, "Brad was one of the seminal alternative artists from the 1970's through the1990's. Now is the time to pay proper respect to the man."
Sideshow will be on view at ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY from April 5th – 26th, 2008. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm. Opening reception will take place Saturday, April 5th from 6:30-8:30pm.