We've been watching Brendan Flanagan's career for some time now and are consistently engaged, disturbed and provoked by his ever-evolving art practice. We visited him at The Metropolitan as he's been spending time in hotel rooms lately. As a finalist for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in Ottawa and as Resident Artist at OCAD this past week in Toronto, this recent graduate from the MFA program at Concordia University seems anxious to get back to Montreal and his work.
His intuitive process creates painting and installation works that force the viewer into liminal spaces both figurative and abstract: figures lost in a purgatory-like dimension, cavernous spaces bereft of matter, strange combinations of digital effects and rough humanity. He has somehow managed to force, through his visual language, visceral responses, indescribable feelings of unease, and fleeting moments between waking and unconsciousness. His work seemingly allows for a gateway into an alternate side of the psyche. It expresses continuous movement, drifting, a back and forth, a turning over and around and the complex and ineffable essence of human existence sought for in spirituality.
Incredibly prolific, Flanagan doesn't seem to weigh his practice down with thematic constraints, but rather lets the unknown forces flow through him. You get a sense that the materials drive his exploration, resulting in unconventional and innovative techniques. In his most recent work you will see a merging of 2d and 3d, digital and traditional, yet holding true to an overlaying tone of transitional anxiety.