David Brothers’ multi-disciplinary practice encompasses painted and constructed installations, as well as photography, film, video, radio, and printed publications. Recently, he mounted a solo exhibition at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and won the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, as well as a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Brothers’ work is published in Hant, Dear Dave, Rolling Stone, Popsmear, Maxim, Stuff, and Slug magazines.
The painted constructed installation, or set, has been the primary theme of his work since the 1970s. After building these sets in his studio, Brothers documents them with photography and film to create ancillary and related works. Involved in various production roles of short and feature-length films, videos, and installations, the Sundance Film Festival premiered three of Brothers’ feature films, one of which he co-directed and designed, and two for which he served as designer.
Brothers also created several publications in various genres using techniques such as silkscreen, offset lithography, linocut, Xerox, and inkjet printing. These include graphic novels, comics, Tijuana Bibles, collections of experimental limericks, and photo essays. Earlier in his career, he wrote, directed, and performed two weekly radio programs, creating more than 50 half-hour episodes of experimental radio theater. The Church of Jayne Mansfield, aired on the local Christian radio station WKBBX, and The New Atomic Age, which aired on a powerful Mexican station.
Using the painted and constructed set in the studio. I build places, stories and propositions. Final results would be primarily photos but can also include film, installation and sculpture.
A favorite reoccurring theme would be artificiality and especially the methods used to rebrand the fake into the authentic. This rebranding, usually the domain of film and theater is, I believe, optimally suited to photography because of its non-meddling nature, returning time to the viewer.
Using the constructed stage, easily lends itself to dialogues about artificiality. As a builder controlling its degrees of authenticity, placing its marker in the final product or not. This dialogue is half of my action and the stuff film and theater are made of but without their messy and manipulative narration.
Sisyphean repetition is another favorite topic and frankly by the nature of how I work, almost too easy a projection. I postulate an artificial world, document it and then crush, throw away and rebuild. This repeating narrative has always been and seems to always be a part of my process and I like to talk about it. If I'm lucky enough to truly have a mission, it would be in this inauthentic building, crushing and rebuilding.