i won’t hesitate to say that Brian Calvin is one of my favourite artist discoveries in a while. wow, i love his pieces SO MUCH. i don’t know what it is about them, maybe i see myself in these huge, graphic, goofy looking portraits – some of the girls are almost on the edge of tears in many of his paintings. they are so strange, and i love strange.
A California-raised artist, Calvin is occasionally compared to David Hockney, whose colors and subject matter equally evoke the ominously easy life of a sun-bleached suburbia, and to the New Yorker Alex Katz, whose graphic, flat compositions are visual siblings of Calvin’s, but whose paintings tend to suggest backstories and aftermath. His clever and luminous paintings – rendered in the Day-Glo colors of overexposed photographs – depict hyperexposed pretty young things casually mugging for an unseen observer, their faces flattened (visually and figuratively) with the stylized ennui of Modigliani’s oblong portraits. Emotionally distant and elusively cool, Calvin’s characters convey the banality of selfie culture, and, like selfies, they evade any narrative arc. – Anne Prentnieks