DEREK BRAHNEY, born 1986
Lives & works in New York

for commercial work:



IMPOSTERS is a series of exhibition posters celebrating fake shows by fake artists at fake galleries around the world. The posters feature images of real artworks from Derek Brahney’s series of Brushstrokes—hybrids of painting, sculpture and photography that playfully fuse image and object through the artist’s gesture.

The works are made by enlarging scans of painted brushstrokes, selecting and collaging the shapes into graphic compositions, and printing them onto sculptural wall reliefs sealed in resin. The Brushstrokes are passengers on a journey, born into existence as a series of meaningless marks made on paper without thought. Few are chosen from hundreds of others, undergoing semiotic transformation as they are replicated, recontextualized and represented as iconic objects.

IMPOSTERS takes this idea a step further, adopting the format of the collectible exhibition poster as a vehicle for continued dissemination of the Brushstrokes. Celebrating seminal exhibitions that never happened in various art capitals of the world, the posters work to immortalize the Brushstrokes in the canon of art history by sneaking in the backdoor uninvited. By using fake but vaguely familiar names and other bogus information, confusion is created and the mystique surrounding the Brushstrokes is amplified. 

Social media allows us to meticulously curate our online identities, idealized and removed from the realities of the physical world. Algorithms bombard us with images and archetypes of increasingly strange similarity, and “merch” comforts us with products to stand in for lived experiences. With emerging artists facing stiff competition and slim prospects, one must take destiny into their own hands. As galleries close, online viewing rooms open, and life is lived online, it is prudent then not to bother with physical exhibitions and instead move straight to the commemoration of them. Whether or not they physically occurred is incidental—or at the very least, a conversation starter at your next dinner party.

The title IMPOSTERS alludes both to the feelings of fraud or being ‘found out’ that all artists work to overcome, as well as the illusory nature of the Brushstroke works themselves—photographs masquerading as paintings masquerading as sculpture.

“...the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.”

Each poster is printed in an edition of 10 + 2 AP
Signed by artist
Printed on heavyweight Moab Entrada rag paper
30 x 42 inches