Mark Brandvik “Green Felt Jungle Gym”
January 30– March 23Reception: First Friday, February 3, 6-8 PM
Artist’s talk: Wednesday, February 8, 6:30 PM in the Pueblo Room
Mark Brandvik paintings and sculptures locate the viewer within a specific setting or narrative that builds upon larger themes of place and location. His paintings of mid-century Las Vegas architecture present classics such as Paul Williams’ La Concha Motel, the Four Queens Hotel, and most recently, Davy’s Locker. Homes, slot bars, churches, and motels are pared down to their idealized, essential forms; these iconic pictures may be read as homage to Las Vegas history, addressing both desire and loss.
Brandvik’s most recent work responds to and celebrates his interest in text and subtext. The title of his upcoming show at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, “Green Felt Jungle Gym,” plays off the1963 book “The Green Felt Jungle” by Ed Reid and Ovid Demaris that exposed the relationship of organized crime to the Las Vegas tourist industry. In the rotunda the artist will build a mixed media sculpture installation, layering iconic architectural forms found in Las Vegas into an oversized children’s jungle gym. The resulting non-functional adult playground will suggest both the ruins of abandoned construction and the potential of new development in Las Vegas.
A native of Las Vegas, Mark Brandvik received his Bachelor of Arts at UNLV in 1996 and his Master of Fine Arts at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. He teaches as an adjunct professor at UNLV and has been contributing to downtown’s re-development through his own historic preservation projects since 2000. The artist exhibits his work nationally, most recently participating in “Performa 2011” in New York City and “Top Ten Now” and “Tel-Art-Phone” in Los Angeles, and he will be exhibiting paintings in the group exhibition “Dreamhouse” at Clark County’s Winchester Gallery in April, 2012.