We're officially one week away from Brandt Peters' debut Los Angeles solo show, "Cackle Factory," and he's delivered so much incredible work, we're finding ourselves navigating through boxes in the gallery like it's the maze in The Shining. I'm assuming all work and no play meant painting pieces, not throwing a baseball against the wall (or attempting to kill his family) for Brandt.
Since I'm the only guy privileged enough to have seen all the work, I'm the only guy who knows how cohesive and impressive the thematic tone of the show is. Brandt has employed the creepy, yet happily alluring, backdrop of abandoned playgrounds and circus carnivals to play home base for a set of characters both familiar and new to the artist's body of work. Even utilizing the show's title, "Cackle Factory," plays into this idea, since the term is a 1940's slang term for an asylum. It seems like Brandt's goal with this new body of work is to make each of us ask ourselves which of his characters, whether it be a tattooed pin-up model or a vintage pie-eyed ghost amongst bumper cars, spring rides, his signature Slap-Happy! and giant squids, we are in our most insecure and on-edge moments. When it at first seems like the cute or innocent cartoon-ish qualities brought me to love the piece, I realize it's truly the hidden message, the ability to make me wonder what this means to me specifically, that has me LOVING this show.
Two more previews for ya:
I'm telling you. Come this next Tuesday, Feb. 3, 7-10 PM, as Brandt will be in Los Angeles for his opening reception from 7-10 PM. It's worth it.