Artist Talk: Andrew Brischler

A Pointed Remark, Feuer/Mesler, NY
Installation view

This last Friday was our first video conference with a guest! While I’m disappointed our class can’t physically go to New York and visit artists and speakers in their studios, galleries, etc., I obviously realize that isn’t currently possible given the circumstances. While zoom fatigue may have set in for me long before this semester had begun, the switch from in-person to online video conferencing has worked surprisingly well for this class. While some physical elements of the artworks shown may be lost in translation as I cannot physically view and get up close and personal with brushstrokes or details, I thought the guest artist this week, Andrew Brischler, did a fantastic job of showing the class his studio setup and allowed us to view his work from close angles.

Andrew Brischler is a working, NYC-based artist who re-appropriates images found within popular culture through his worldview and style informed by graphic design and abstraction, translating them onto paper/canvas with primarily paints and colored pencils. Many of his works, especially recent ones, are text-based and feature words or phrases he pulls from a variety of sources whether it’s movies, song lyrics, or media found from scouring the depths of the internet.

 While I’m usually drawn to more figurative pieces of art, I really connected with Brischler’s body of works over our meeting with him as the conceptual frameworks of Brischler’s works as well as his process is so human despite their initial plastic veneer. His works at first look as if they could be created on photoshop or illustrator computer programs, with careful lines, typography, and bright saturated colors, but Brischler creates all of his work by hand with physical materials such as colored pencils. And when viewing the details of his works, the viewer realizes there are slight imperfections such as scuffs or rough edges that meet the white of the paper or canvas, and I really admire when artists are not afraid to break from precision as the quirks add so much character and humanity.

Punk & Faggotry (Patient Zero)
Colored pencil, marker, and graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches

Along these lines, the texts, imagery, and concepts found within Brischler’s works are drawn from popular culture but filtered through Brischler’s worldview to take on new personal meanings for himself, as well as to create works in which the viewer can project their own personal meanings. In the call, Brischler recounted how he had once sold an artwork containing the word “”stars” to some sort of straight, rich tech yuppie, unknowing that “stars” was re-appropriated from obscure gay pornography. This highlights how his work is often sourced from queer subcultures and his lived experiences but can mean anything to anyone, which he too welcomes. On more personal tangents, I related to Brischler’s process of searching for imagery and inspiration from in which he borrows from the media he consumes and goes through deep internet searches, as I am most inspired by popular culture and spend hours just searching the internet for films, songs, etc. to inform my drawings. I also deeply related to his love for horror films and why he might be so drawn to them, discussing how he as a queer person sees himself both as the villian (as the horror film cannon has a long history of queer-coded villians) as well as the victim. With this said, I found Brischler to be an engaging, relatable, talented, and fun guest artist and set a great footing for the semester. 

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