Brandon J. Donahue
body artCommissionsMurals and large projectsAirbrush Tshirts2014 Polycopies2013 Urban alchemy201220112010
I am relentless in my object making exploration. My work embodies the transformational spirit of the vernacular. I search for and collect articles and materials with a specific history. I then add to the history of the thing by employing multiple techniques and processes such as airbrushing, spray painting, vacuum forming, or simply reassembling the object. Over the past twelve years, I have been professionally custom airbrushing at t-shirt and car shops, athletic events, carnivals, festivals, and homes. Customizing and personalizing things is to me a rite. I believe in the ability to transcend the original state and meaning of things. I see myself in the work and realize that I, too, have potential to change.

Two art-making processes dominate my studio practice: airbrushing and scavenging abandoned things. There is an exceptional quality to my painting process. Airbrushing enables me to work in large and small-scale detail without my tool physically touching the surface. Layers of paint evenly recoat the material without altering its form. I collect mass-produced, publicly displayed, and abandoned urban forms like fallen street signs, basketballs, file cabinets, and hubcaps. I also collect more natural material such as chicken bones. My work relates to traditions of folk art, hip hop, graffiti art and occupies a space between low and high art culture.

As a result of my alchemy, I produce new artifacts out of older recognizable forms. My new artifacts are obviously not found in everyday life the way that I present them, so I challenge the viewer to see not only what is present, but also what is represented.