Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Southern Pop Surrealism: NOLA Defender

Last week, before our show in New Orleans, Sean from NOLA Defender interviewed me about Southern Pop Surrealism.  Here a preview of what he put together about the exhibit....

Zeitgeist's 'Southern Pop Surrealism' Brings Outsider Art Movement to New Orleans

Artist Brandt Hardin and curator Myron Blaine talk to NoDef about their touring art exhibit, which showcases Southern perspectives on a burgeoning art movement that combines Pop Art and Surrealism.

In artist Brandt Hardin's illustration, "Sarah Palin Made Me Do It," the former Alaskan governor stands behind Jared Loughner, the shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, placing a gun in his hand. The image suggests the former governor’s polarizing rhetoric contributed to the atmosphere of hatred that lead Loughner to go on a rampage. But. further back in the piece, the piece's polemical foreground is muddled. Juxtaposed against the portrayal of current events in the background are surrealist touches, blood-stained targets that resemble bloodshot eyes and abut against an American flag whose stripes resemble blood vessels.

During the day, Hardin supports himself with a marketing job, but, outside the office, he is a member of a subversive, burgeoning new school of art, Pop Surrealism. His depiction of the events surrounding the Giffords shooting is typical of Pop Surrealism's rebellious spirit. Sometimes called Lowbrow art, the movement is an offspring of two of the 20th century’s great art movements, Andy Warhol’s Pop Art and Salvidor Dali’s Surrealism, but its artists are more interested in pushing the envelope than simply revisiting the past.

“Instead of just taking a pop culture reference to Porky Pig and adding him to a Surrealist landscape,” Hardin said this week. “I want to pull out his entrails and make chitlins.”

Southern Pop Surrealism is on display at a month-long exhibit at Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Arts Center...

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