Studio Visit: Artist Brandon Lipchik

Exploring the painter's bright, figurative works at the intersection of tactile and digital

It’s been a month now since artist Brandon Lipchik‘s solo debut NYC exhibition, “The Garden.” It was the inaugural offering of Brooklyn’s At Large Gallery and revealed a bright, popish and voyeuristic study of the male-on-male gaze. Here, figurative work— sometimes quite illustrative and other times more emotive—conveyed depths of personality and unexpected beauty. And within each artwork viewers can find a quality both digital and tactile. To learn more about how he achieves this, we visited Lipchik‘s shared studio space; a corner of his artistic universe filled with paintings, supplies and tools.

Regardless of size or color, all of the works found in the studio space bear a stylistic resemblance pertaining to Lipchik’s process. “I recently went back to starting with drawing on paper,” he explains to CH. “Then I bring the work into Photoshop or a 3D-rendering program. I work from there and see how I can make an image that’s worth investigating further on a physical surface.” When the digital image begins to hint at great potential, Lipchik projects it onto a canvas. “We various taping techniques, I mask it out and let the transfer speak to the digital aesthetic that the computer can deliver.”

Lipchik looks to the internet for inspiration, often drawing the seed of an idea from Tumblr or Instagram. He also finds a starting point through sketching from memory or emotion. Then it’s about collision, recreation or abstraction. For certain lines he will employ an Iwata air-gun compressor, spraying drop shadows and more. There are also patches of pronounced evidence of the hand, in essence stripes of heavy brushwork and areas with his own sponge-like paint mixture. He returns to the idea that “within my subject matter I want to juxtapose the digital with something that is super-material, with the latter being important because of the formality of the body.”

The colors used in his work contribute to an almost-whimsical wallpapering of the studio space. That said, the contents address sexuality and heightened reality. “A lot of my color choices in the past have been artificial, or super-bright. This use of color speaks to working in a digital landscape where you can select a color from different softwares,” he explains. “If you are thinking of working solely from life, for instance with a traditional still life, you are limited by the reality of things. You are influenced by the light you see. In the way I work, it is whatever I want it to be.” But with all bold color decision, the composition has a sparseness. “I like my marks to be very economical,” he continues. “I try to eliminate anything that is unnecessary.”

For the At Large exhibition, Lipchik had three weeks to preprare, though he’d already been accruing works with the hope of showing. Still, it was “creating, creating, creating and then a paring-down process” during the show’s curation. Now Lipchik is preparing to send paintings to “While Supplies Last,” a recurring group show of small works, taking place in Seattle. Previewing the pieces, the artist’s style remains bright and easily identifiable—and yet there’s a greater use of negative space leaving much to the imagination. If anything, this means as Lipchik continues to develop his voice is already established.

Images courtesy of Minu Han