You may know him from his frozen paintings in the Whitney Biennial that just closed. You may know him for his rock-bedecked calculators. You may know him from that time he displayed artwork by children at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. You may know him from that time he set his hair on fire. However you know him, Brian Belott is having a show coming up at Morán Morán gallery in Los Angeles on October 12, and the press release for it has—excusing a few spelling errors (however, “goop” for “group” seems altogether intentional)—set a new standard for the form.
Forget the actual work! (Which looks characteristically neat, by the way.) This press release has it all! “The Grammy’s red carpet,” “Shakespeare’s circle of witches around a cauldron,” “bulbous paint covered pillow stuffing balls,” “a vat of Haim Steinbach taffy”!
Remember the phrase from the Comte de Lautréamont that inspired André Breton to inspire the Surrealists? “As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table”? Belott seems to want to go that one (or two or three) better.
Here’s the release:
Morse code, the dot and dash. Visualize in your mind those marks turning into a peppercorn and sewing needle and then into a black pearl and finishing nail and then into a blackberry and rigatoni tube them into a squash ball and Krink marker and then into a avocado pit and mailing tube, then into a crystal ball and aluminum baseball bat and then into a globe and a soil auger, then into an inflatable beach ball and floating hollow log and then into a Manhole cover and diving board and then into a bank vault door and the unfurled dead sea scrolls and then into Big Ben’s clock face and The Grammy’s red carpet and then into Shakespeare’s circle of witches around a cauldron and a razor sharp swath of summoned souls stretched like taffy, Laughy, really but baffling to babbling hearing is the key. Chains of associations melt in the mind’s eye pour over consciousness like a surreal animation.
For my second show at the gallery, I decided to push the Puuuuuuuuuffffsss series further. This goop of work gets its name not only from its bulbous paint covered pillow stuffing balls but also from the name brand tissue boxes that filled the earlier version’s guts. The title has a stack of U’s and F’s and S’s to encourage the reader to elongate the pronunciation. Yet, I also need you to pronounce it with an inhale or exhale glottal fry and lower the pitch. Box fans, tissue boxes, broken chairs, door handles, grab bars, lemon squeezer, hand soap dispenser, taco holders, stained glass, children’s dioramas, grill brushes, a piano stool, and TV remotes are some of the cast I kick into a vat of Haim Steinbach taffy.