A review of the show “Wasted Youth” by Brandon Gastinell
Review by Ember de Boer
This body of work is showing at Blue Line Arts from now until April 10th. The works are digital creations, produced into canvas prints and edited in post-printing phase to create the final art object. The canvases range in size and use various iconic imagery, manipulated and distorted comprised of many layers of symbolic, and cultural references on top of famous people with equally culturally significant faces. A diabolical collision of American values, nostalgia, and chaotic arrangement lend the mind to recognize the madness in the American dichotomy and create a pool of self referential culturally incestuous content that stimulates a vibe reminiscent of what it feels to consume media, read the news and participate in a modern day America where logic seems farther and substance seems even further, while the sheer amount of things to consume and be influenced by is ever close and present.
Forced to consume and divulge in a pungent culture of repetition, vulgarity, constant polarity is what this work reminds me of. It brings a sense of familiarity; the intense kind, or rather provides a summary of what consumption culture, politics, and violence has handed us. This is my own experience of the work and not a direct reflection of the Artists intention. I see strong colors, and compositions that use implied motion, and intense angst toward their subject matter. With an essence that comes off as a punk attitude to present culture and an inherent rejection of self affirming any part of it as “right” but rather a chaotic mess of the collision of all the media and ideas in ones interaction with these culturally symbolic images and experiences.