Melting Into The Floor with Brendan Monroe

Sahara Shrestha

“I was standing inside a vibration when the afternoon finished melting,” writes Mark Baumer in his website, Moans Of Road on his cross-continental walk across America. Of course, this excerpt is here because it relates to the paintings and sculptures of Brendan Monroe whose works of art are part of the “Melting Into The Floor” exhibit at the Richard Heller Gallery in LA.

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Baumer talks of modern consumption, plastic, and synthetics, and tries to figure out what a solar worm (that eats the stream that they slept next to) is. “Organs of movement pulsed inside our tender belief that the dead sun would never consume the modern world,” he writes, and his meltdown has a “velocity of being” that can transform itself to a “spectrum within an inevitable plague.”

I understand that your artworks have a scientific base. Do you think that that alone helps bridge the gap between art and science, the growing importance of which has been emphasized more recently?

Monroe: I think art can help science and science can help art. I'm interested in both, so I think I don't see much of a reason for a gap. Both need a certain amount of calculation, creativity and perseverance.

Could you elaborate further on your Island series? Also, I could be terribly wrong but are those graph-like structures meant to represent cosmic microwave backgrounds?

Monroe: The graph type drawings are meant to represent a plane in space (space-time) and the bending of that plane. The books are really about journeys and wanderings. I wanted the characters to feel like casual explorers within dream-like settings.

What's your favorite theory?

Monroe: I don't know… Maybe the quantum entanglement one where one particle can know what the other is or isn't doing even when they are separated.

What, to you, is the universe more of: abstract or concrete?

Monroe: Concrete, but also unknown.

Are your sculptures symbols that the aliens are supposed to locate to understand that humans are an intelligent species?

Monroe: Not really, they're just my sculptures, but that's nice of you to look at them that way. It would be a pretty amazing honor to have been involved in something like the Voyager project. For now I've very content with a near by audience.

Monroe’s illustrations have also appeared in publications like the NYTimes but he mostly focuses on exhibitions of his paintings and sculptures, which he says are his interpretations of the world, above all, rooted in science.

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