Black Rat Projects Presents: Brian Adam Douglas AKA Elbow-Toe “Due Date” (London, UK)

Elbow Toe

Never seen in public before, Brian Adams Douglas’ new massive (5 x 7) and three months in the making painting “Memory of You” will be the central focus of his new solo show.

Brian Adam Douglas – Due Date
March 10 – April 8, 2011

Black Rat Projects
Through Cargo Garden
Arch 461, 83 Rivington Street
London EC2A 3AY

Black Rat Projects is pleased to present our next project with Brian Adam Douglas. Due Date, his first solo show in the UK, will be on view from March 10 – April 8, 2011. The opening will coincide with the launch of a book about his work, Paper Cuts, published by DRAGO.

Under the name Elbow Toe, Brooklyn based artist Brian Adam Douglas has been pasting his distinctive woodcuts, stencil work, large-scale charcoal drawings and collages onto the walls of cities all around the world throughout the past decade. His diverse practice is anchored by an interest in the human gesture as a powerful form of communication, one charged with unspoken narratives and he continually transforms public space into a stage for these private moments.  The scenes in his most recent body of work focus on the bewildering act of parenthood.  Just as he builds a finished image through the meticulous layering of tiny individual bits of coloured paper, so the meaning of the image is woven through layers of references to historically and culturally established narratives. This kind of intertextuality has become the foundation for the development of his distinctive style. The result is a sophisticated visual language where personal metaphors begin to communicate universal truths.

In Douglas’ work family life is a staged performance, animals are manifestations of human emotion, intense pattern breaks the jagged surface and functions like an ancient Epic storm: as his characters fight to find their balance the viewer holds their breath.

Artist’s Statement:

“For my first solo show in the UK, Due Date, I am exploring my preconceived notions of parenthood and the opportunities for growth that come through that process. I am presenting a series of narratives that flirt the line between fact and fiction; they are moments of autobiography that have been extrapolated to become allegories.  As an artist in the process of trying to become a parent and living in one of the most parent-centric sections of NYC, I am keenly aware of the mania that strikes at the heart of parents young and old. In these paintings I am addressing fears (loss of individuation as well as of the proverbial unknown), the strengthening of bonds in times of crisis, the issues of trying to become a parent later in life and the wisdom gained through the process of parenting.

The work is divided into two groups: a set of images on panels, and a set of images on paper. In the more fully realized works on panel, all the actions are taking place in staged environments. The elements surrounding the figures are merely cardboard props, strictly for the purpose of giving the action of the figures a point of reference. The action of the figures is the reality of the image, everything else is just window dressing. The paint drips and splashes act as abstract gestures clearing things away yet never managing to obscure the events occurring on the stage. In the works on paper, the events being described are contained in a sea of white. By the very nature of the presentation the gestures and relationships are isolated and distilled.

The current body of work builds upon a process of art making that I have been refining for several years. I refer to the work as paper paintings rather than as collage. I see each piece of paper as a brushstroke rather than as a juxtaposed idea. Each brushstroke is selected for it’s color, value and texture, rather than it’s imagery”. Brian Adams Douglas

To read BSA interview and studio visit with Elbow-Toe click on the link below: