Brian Mouhlas

Cleveland Institute of Art

Where is beauty to be found in a world consumed and entertained by the traumatic? The way in which I execute my work relates strongly to a sense of anxiety and a fear that’s established through a subjective lens on an external reality. These current paintings take on issues pertaining to human and social interactions and are interwoven with personal psychological sensibilities that express communication breakdowns, social defeat, a lack of acceptance and isolation that I have felt in my life.

I accumulate all kinds of imagery, from photographs that were personally shot, to news articles, to imagery from past decades, and stills from archival footage. I see myself very much as a filter of this imagery. A processer who is both informed and yet internalizes these events. The documentation is already done, what is missing is the response. I cannot change an event, whether it is past or present for it is indelible, but what I can do is comment on it. Not only making a comment on event(s), but embodying a societal fascination with the shocking. I am very much a product of this society, of its virtues and of its afflictions.

I have always had a hard time communicating with people. Therefore, communication has always been at the forefront, a motivator in the way I concern myself in an everyday realm/way. Painting gives me a platform to voice an opinion and to create a conversation that is harder to create socially in an everyday manner.

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