Sam Branden

My work engages textiles and fabric through fragmented and collaged compositions, made in response to environments I’ve lived in, particularly Northeast Ohio (where I’m from) and New York City (where I live). An uninhibited process of seeking and collecting consumes an early portion of my practice, and items are either intentionally sought, or scavenged in the street opportunistically, a few of which include umbrellas, stickers, and construction mesh. Articles of graphic clothing such as sports jerseys and windbreaker jackets, along with blue-collar work materials such as burlap and plastic shipping wrap, are deconstructed into various sized shards, then re-augmented into stitched, quilt-like objects. These “paintings” take several forms: stretched on an armature, free-form quasi-tapestries, and web-like transparent canvases, all of which are always sewn by hand. This process is slow and tedious, allowing me to familiarize and meditate on potential scraps in my hands and swaths in front of me.

 

When working with clothing, the body is inevitably referenced, however I like to treat this material less superficially and think of it more as an important external identifier—a crucial facade or skin. Clothing allows us to showcase and adopt personal style, or a professional role, and overtime becomes a part of ones identity. Content loaded within each material, through combination, allows me to signify several experiential moments at once, and manipulation of such mediums allows me to be more obscure or direct in the way certain works communicate. Aesthetically, the work can concurrently appear distressed and abused, nullified and shear, and refined and elegant, forcing content beyond mere physical construction and juxtaposing notions of domesticity, utilitarianism and recreational playing.

 

Shifting geometric shapes comprise the bulk of the sewn body of my pieces, which I relate to aerial views of landscapes and metropolitan areas. I begin to think about city planning, and specifically how roadways and geographic boundaries demarcate neighborhoods throughout the boroughs of New York. Surface layering and re-working presents effects evocative of daily encounters with graffiti, urban decay, construction, street fashion, and pace of the city, which offsets and melds with influences from growing up in Ohio, such as the outdoor workman’s lifestyle, school athletics, and Mid-America fashion. Items from my life, thrift stores, and the environment accumulate and supply me with an endless medium to explore compelling perceptive instances, encounters, and sub-cultures that surround and influence me; each work could be considered a form of abstract self-portraiture.

Sam Branden

Lives and works in the Bronx, New York

Education

2014   BFA, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH

Curatorial – (Ongoing) Wick Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2019   Tack and Hide, Wick Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2019   Here in Spirit, Wick Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2018   Skin Like A Salamander, Wick Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2017   Fulfill The Dream, Space Heater Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

 

Select Exhibitions

 

2019  *TBD (solo), Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

The Sun Poured in Like Butterscotch, Projet Pangée, Montréal, QC

The Day The Clown Cried, Bible Gallery, New York, NY

Gossamer, At Large Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2018   Demolition, 208 Montrose Space, Brooklyn, NY

The Air, Beverly’s, New York, NY

Sink Hole, Friday Studio Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

St. Never-Let Day, Skylab Gallery, Columbus, OH

Nevertheless, The Galallery, San Francisco, CA

2017   *Since My Dog Died (Two-Person), No Place Gallery, Columbus, OH

Surface Tension, E.Tay Gallery, New York, NY

GIFC, The Hole, New York, NY

Material Politics, Space Heater Gallery, Brooklyn NY

2016  *SX (solo), Quality Gallery, Oakland, CA

Obstructed Views, Scott Charmin Gallery, Houston, TX

Reclamation, Collar Works, Troy, NY

2015   Daydreamer, Quality Gallery, Oakland, CA

2014   Offset, Ohio State Urban Arts Space City Center Gallery, Columbus, OH

 

Prizes/Awards

 

2013   Charles Hall Memorial Scholarship, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH

 

Residencies

 

2014   Contemporary Artist Center at Woodside, Troy, NY

 

Bibliography

 

Grunthaner, Jeffrey. WhiteHot Magazine. ‘Like A Nightclub or Dark Bar: Kat Chamberlin at Wick Gallery’. May 2019

Art Viewer. ‘The Sun Poured in Like Butterscotch at Projet Pangée. April 2019

Art Viewer. ‘The Day the Clown Cried at Bible’. February 2019

Editors Picks. Art Cards. ‘The Day the Clown Cried’ at Bible. January 2019

Fischer, Jim. Columbus Alive. ‘St. Never-Let Day’. April 2018

Colvin, Rob. Hyperallergic. ‘At Greenpoint Open Studios, Facing Many Closed Doors’. May 2016

Tigges, Jesse. Columbus Alive. ‘Exhibit Preview: Alternative Printmakers Get Spotlight in Offset’. June 2014