IMPOSTERS is a series of exhibition posters celebrating fake shows by fake artists at fake galleries. The posters feature images of real artworks, from Derek Brahney’s series Brushstrokes—hybrids of painting, sculpture and photography that fuse image and object through the symbol of the artist’s gesture.
The Brushstroke works are made by enlarging scans of painted brushstrokes, selecting and arranging the shapes into compositions, and printing them onto sculptural wall reliefs sealed in high gloss resin. The Brushstrokes are passengers on a journey, born into existence as marks made without meaning. Few are chosen from hundreds of others, undergoing semiotic transformation as they are replicated, recontextualized and represented as iconic objects.
IMPOSTERS takes this recontextualization a step further, adopting 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 aura around the Brushstrokes is amplified.
Social media allows us to meticulously curate our online identities, idealized and removed from the reality 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 experience. 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 increasingly 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