Rain and Resurface

I usually try not to be intimidated by the rain here. But it was coming down pretty hard as I wondered the familiar streets of SOMA and South Beach looking for a particular gallery not far from the former Fremont Street overpass that I photographed on a sunnier day. I was trying to catch an exhibit before it closed on Sunday, only to find the gallery itself was closed for the extended holiday weekend.

So now I had not only the pouring rain around me, but also a large caption reading “FAIL”. Not a big deal per se, but we did need to get out of the rain. We headed down 2nd Street, looking for someplace that would be at least dry and somewhat comforting, a cafe or a bar that had not opted to close for the holidays. I was surprised to find that 111 Minna was open, and in fact quite well populated. They were having some sort of fundraising event with work from several artists. However, I found myself more interested in the permanent exhibit, Resurface, a solo exhibit by local artist Micah LeBrun. LeBrun had taken a hiatus from his work, which primarily focused on painting, for a year in late 2008 and early 2009 to travel through Central America, Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe. During this time, he focused on photography, and only returned to painting after returning home. The exhibit included examples of his photographs (partially obscured by the art being displayed for the fundraiser). I was more drawn to the stark landscape images, which reminded me of my own adventures in the desert and sparsely populated areas, than to the portraits. Among the paintings, I was also drawn to the non-portrait pieces, such as the large red canvas with the words “the New Yorker”, and another piece featuring an algebraic equation (the solution to which was of course 0.5). Both pieces are visible in this promotional image, featuring the artist in his studio:

[Click to enlarge.]

Afterwards, I did visit LeBrun’s website, and found myself more interested in some of his earlier work, such as the combination of figurative and abstract paintings from 2005 and 2006. There were several works that focused on black and shades of pink. It was interesting to view one of his figurative pieces, such as “high maintenance” next to an abstract work like “take it easy”, as if one is a distillation of the other (small versions of both works are displayed to the right). You can see other works from this series at his online gallery.

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