Funk upon a time, Brian Belott and Jesse Greenberg teamed up to create a two man show for Gallery Loyal in Sweden. I was wondering how to explain the work, but in the press release it says that “Not being able to pin down exactly what these objects are referring to is one of their powers,” so it’s better unexplained. I asked Brian about the power of not knowing and funkiness once, and he explained that working funky meant the difference between drawing inspiration from the sadness of the Blues, or the celebration of George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic. The work in this show feels like a mash up between the ancient Egyptian religion, which at the time was thought to keep the sun rising, and today’s science fiction; a mythological range from prehistory to the future, it either expands time or contracts it depending on whether you like the Blues or P-Funk.
Brian Belott’s Brooklyn studio is an immersive installation. Spelunking into a cavern on an alien planet filled with glittering artifacts from a lost culture, might, might compare to walking through Brian’s place. I was going to stay for an hour, but ended up being there for four hours because there was so much to look at and talk about. The whole situation is arranged with the discerning eye of the most selective, borderline pathological scavenger – and set to easy listening music, Brian’s “sonic wallpaper.” I got the feeling that each scrap of torn paper, every tube of glitter has been internalized. Then arranged into an invisible system that had started to resemble the stratified layers of rock at the Grand Canyon – there was a geological, epic scale to the amount of materials. Brian works with some art materials, but mostly with found stuff. He uses those thick cardboard kids books, colorful plastic combs, found audio, and posters. He makes paintings on glass, original music, found sound audio collages, paper collages, books covered in paint and decorated with rocks, and catalogs of other people’s private photography grouped by themes. In addition he does performances, many of which are on YouTube. Meeting Brian I got the immediate impression I was meeting someone special. He has a gigantic solo show “The Joy of File” opening Friday, February 26th at Zürcher Studio from 6 to 8pm.