Art and Design | Brandon Herman | New York | News | Photography

Brandon Herman in Brooklyn

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My friend Brandon Herman is about to have his first solo exhibition, entitled "Schooldayz", at Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art in Brooklyn. Somewhere between portraits and film stills, his photographs take an interior fantasy world that is both meditative and intensely sexual, and play it out over a super-saturated suburban stage. I'm a big fan.

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If you're in the neighborhood, there's an opening reception January 11 (tomorrow), from 6-8 pm. The gallery is located at 111 Front Street, Suite 200, DUMBO, Brooklyn. The show runs through February 24th. You can also visit Brandon's website, however, be aware that some of the shots are NSFW. A few more photos after the jump.

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Comments

  1. The photography is JUST OKAY. It looks like the SAME EXACT narrative of urban white hipster trash produced by Ryan McGinley, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, and Larry Clark. It's all very pretty and very disgetible in the sense that it's "edgy" with tattooed naked white people.

    And I love how people who yearn to support the arts are attracted to this staid photography.

    How about we start supporting artwork that's more subversive? more ethnic even?

    Posted by: HUGO | Jan 10, 2007 2:37:54 PM


  2. I love it when someone disagrees with a person's opinion of art they attack they person instead of genuinely expressing a different viewpoint. Sorry, Hugo, your comment wasn't actually a comment.

    Was the photography a bit bland, well, yes, it was. The shirtless young man in the woods reminds me of a '70's poster. Is it edgy? Oh, I fervently hope that's not what we call edgy nowdays. Is a vehement diatribe warranted? Nah, just a valid expression of your opinion would be nice.

    "Grrr! Grrr! Grrr! like what I want you to." Isn't really an opinion, is it?

    Posted by: Jake | Jan 10, 2007 3:28:11 PM


  3. I thought Hugo was expressing his opinion in a valid manner. And he does kinda have a point. Why is it that the gay art world finds urbanized manorexic White guys so appealing sometimes? They seem to warrant an automatic "edge" card. However, different strokes for different folks. And Hugo, it's hard to decipher emotion and sarcasm via internet text sometimes.

    ...and I quite like the photography. Even if I do have to venture to DUMBO to see more of it.

    Posted by: Derrick | Jan 10, 2007 3:43:30 PM


  4. Kudos to you Jake for standing up for politeness. The world needs more. I say that with no sarcasm, either. I mean it. As for the work. I agree with you both. It is tired. It isn't edgy; I have family who look and live like this. It's only edgy to those unfamiliar with the confines in which these models purportedly exist. It's staged and artificial. Were it truly "edgy" (such a subjective term anyway), it would capture these youths as they exist not as a manipulation of a hypersexual queer aesthetic. Maybe these shots will gloss the pages of XY or the newly-christened QR.

    Posted by: Cullan | Jan 10, 2007 3:47:07 PM


  5. Hey Andy, get rid of this link to spy ware on your web site. Just terrible.

    This link is embedded on the pages of this site:
    http://www.venicenter.com/adspy/adspy.php

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 10, 2007 4:17:47 PM


  6. Why is it that the gay art world finds urbanized manorexic White guys so appealing sometimes?
    Posted by: Derrick | Jan 10, 2007 3:43:30 PM

    How different is it from the rest of the culture which glamorizes beefy muscular hunks in underwear? I prefer these guys to the above cause they look...normal, natural.

    The photography itself is alright, but I have no problems with the models.

    Posted by: Da | Jan 10, 2007 4:25:30 PM


  7. Well then I'll step in to champion Mr. Herman's art: the man has talent! Whether the subject matter has been explored before (it is not a sin for people to photograph the worlds they encounter every day) his compositions are very often impressive, and especially, as Andy points out, when he blurs the line between landscape and portrait. The best shots are actually on his website (like the Boy in the Pool), and after looking those over, the ones posted here don't do his portfolio justice, since they paint too consistent a portrait of Donnie Darko-esque suburban angst, which isnt nearly as prominent when you look at the collection as a whole. However, of thos eposted I think the bottom cityscape is magnificent and manages to appear both playful and sadistically menacing in its form and tone. He has a good eye for capturing the beautiful overarching form that surrounds the cliche or even the downright silly, and makes it, in my humble opinion, something worthwhile and new.

    Posted by: GBM | Jan 10, 2007 4:30:35 PM



  8. Eh. The photos aren't particularly innovative... they look like someone with a decent eye and a decent camera corraled some of his friends into standing in the forest and wanking off. Zzzzzz...

    Posted by: erik | Jan 10, 2007 5:17:18 PM


  9. Herman's work is good, and I'm definitely considering buying one. But, I do think some images are definitely stronger than others. The weakest are those that seem most derivative of the work of Ryan McGinley, Anthony Goicolea, and David Hilliard. Of the images above, the guy on the bed is by far the strongest in managing to be snap-shot like and elabarately staged. And unlike Theo with the Hawk, the composition isn't so mannered as to be screaming to be looked at. At his website, the simple portraits are the best, like the guy with the cast and bruises, and the close-up of boys with eyes averted or far-off glances. These images draw you in, and would plainly reward the kind of repeated viewing that would cause me to want to own and live with the image.

    Posted by: Denis | Jan 10, 2007 5:26:11 PM


  10. Who said art has to be edgy to be good? Most of them I liked, others not so much. I found the use of oversaturated color effective in many of them -- I think this is what gives them a fantasy world quality. And I found that appealing.

    Posted by: Jeff in Deserto | Jan 10, 2007 7:00:06 PM


  11. GBM
    Please contact me ...i have a copy writing job.

    Posted by: Nelson | Jan 10, 2007 7:13:43 PM


  12. I was speaking less about Andy (because even though I'm not a fan of this photography, I love Andy's site, and his decision to showcase art) and more about the art world.

    Ryan McGinely is the youngest artist to ever have a solo exhibit at the Whitney, and yet when I look his work, and at Hermann's, I find myself feeling as if I'm looking at stills from Larry Clark's KIDS.

    I guess my question is whether or Hermann's a real artist or someone who simply hangs out with people the art world seems to think lives on the "fringe?"

    Posted by: HUGO | Jan 10, 2007 11:59:25 PM


  13. Hey, Herman's story got linked on DudeTube! ...not that I ever visit such a site...

    Posted by: Chaz | Jan 11, 2007 9:41:30 AM


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