"Tomorrow's Today" @ Brilliant Champions
Bushwick is a place where you can enjoy some of Brooklyn’s best tacos, while looking at some of the worst street art in the world.
Everywhere you go complete opposite lifestyles co-exist, and over the last 15 years artists have come in influx to make this neighborhood their home, with the newest edition being Brilliant Champions. Opening their inaugural exhibition Tomorrow’s Today over the weekend, Brilliant Champions presented a group show of three talented Brooklyn artists. Kimia Ferdowsi Kline, Derek Weisberg, and Matthew Craven brought a mixture of sculpture, mixed media, and paintings inspired by the maker’s unique connection and abstraction of history. Having gone and seen the show ourselves, it was an appetizing first offering for such a modest space, and we believe there will be no shortage of intriguing shows to come.
Kimia Ferdowsi Kline’s work is born of her father’s stories about his childhood garden in Tehran: a walled enclosure full of pomegranate trees and a pool in the center. Unable to visit Iran due to religious persecution and the execution of her grandfather in 1982, she’s established a connection with this ghost homeland through recreating these garden paradises. The paintings become arenas for experience--a way to participate in a time and place she is barred from otherwise. The figures are self-portraits and act as a way of inserting herself into these memories and stories.
Derek Weisberg creates works of emotional and psychological self-portraits as well. Themes such as death, vulnerability, human dysfunction, longing, and loss come through in his abstracted figures and masks. While Weisberg's previous sculptures were highly surreal, he's recently shifted gears, exploring how clay can be used in nontraditional ways. The figures have become more abstracted, often made out of broken pieces of clay glued or reintroduced into new more complex works.
Craven’s approach to history melds archaeological imagery together with illustration, painting and collage in an inquisitive, almost subconscious, examination of the past. He appropriates images from historical textbooks and reconfigures them within new aesthetic compositions. Opposed to the narrative history from which the images were taken, his work often develops from the history behind the human desire to create, worship, and inspire. Redesigning the context of the historical images with Craven’s trademark geometric patterns the works inspire a new, more ambiguous connection to the ancient symbols, mythologies, and artifacts.