Written by: Jeffrey From
Wobble, Wobble, Wobble.
You’re staring at a BRENDAN THE BLOB mural and you can’t quite tell what you’re looking at, but you like it. The work is by Oakland based artist, Brendan Monroe, who is known for his wobbly, abstract landscapes and the fungusy creatures that inhabit them. Born in Santa Monica, and graduating with a BFA honours from the Art Center College of Design, Brendan has worked since adolescence to become internationally renowned. He started off tagging under bridges and drawing zines inspired by the colorful work of artists like Souther Salazar , The Clayton Brothers, and Takashi Murakami, selling them door to door at local bookstores and boutiques.
Today, his boyish tenacity remains visible. Brendan’s Facebook interests include: “Slime, fungus, blobs, crawling sludge, the entire Universe, cats, dogs, rain, the beach, chemistry, biology, botany, food, watching paint dry, and frequencies in waves of light.” He works with both polymer clay sculpture and acrylic/spray paint, physically modeling the gooey characters that might live in his massive paintings. Brendan sights biology, light, nature and microorganisms as influences on his current work. Contrary to what we might collectively assume, he’s “never tried any drugs other than coffee.”
Since his modest entrance, Brendan’s work has been featured in galleries from California to Paris and painted on buildings in Taiwan, Hawaii, and all over the U.S. One of his recent shows at the Richard Heller Gallery titled “Insides,” featured what looked like a tent that he repurposed into a walk-in stomach. His collaborative mural for POW! WOW! Hawaii with Mars-1 x Souther Salazar depicts a celestial body engulfing itself, surrounded by kaleidoscopic triangles. At the right angle, you can often find melting bodies, psychedelic oceans, or vaginal mountainscapes in his work.
You’re standing inside a Brendan Monroe art installation and you can’t quite tell what you’re surrounded by, but you like it. Wobble. wobble. wobble. Sploosh.