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Creepy Suburbia

about John Brosio

“After Star Wars I remember that my mom was in the kitchen doing what moms do and I asked her for 10 million dollars to make a film. She said no so I paced a lot and kept going to school. Not that dropping out of school at the time was any kind of option but it kept me busy while I went off to live inside my head. I could always draw. And when moms and dads notice such things they rush their precious pumpkin off to art school and all that. And it was weird. I can still recall sitting in with the adult class, this little kid, and painting a clown face step by step with oil paint. I was happy to have some guidance at the time but it had almost nothing at all to do with where my head was. So I get to high school and am always drawing. One of my teachers finally figured out that I never really studied either.”

Born in Pasadena, California, John Brosio uses traditional painting to portray the relationship of people to their environment in very nontraditional terms. With elements both funny and foreboding, his work captures what people so often miss: the awe that should be inspired by some very large thing we’re overlooking and our arrogant inflation of our own place within the universe. Brosio’s paintings challenge us to not get stuck in the milieu of the everyday but to see the beautiful and sometimes terrible things around us.

“’The underbelly of suburban America’ — one can go on and on about this. And it is definitely at the core of what I am considering in ‘that daily dynamic.’ The weirdest thing to me is that so many people here in America seem to acknowledge the creepiness that can come with suburban life but openly pursue and perpetuate it nonetheless. Now I’m not talking about healthy neighborhoods. What I’m talking about is what happens when folks get enough money, get a family, get a house, get a car, etc., like ‘everyone else’ and conclude that because of this success, what they think of the world must therefore be correct, no matter what it is.

I know of specific individuals who — or did — abuse, molest, terrify their children with lies, commit harmful crimes—folks who ‘know’ that Earth is only about 6, 000 years old, folks who make major decisions based on superstition or astrology—all of whom have giant suburban homes with the boat outside, swimming pool, etc., and have BBQ’s right across the street. That to me is the creepiness.”

www.johnbrosio.com

Thanks
beinart.org

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