Marc Brandenburg

Marc Brandenburg

German
b. 1965
/

Overview

'You can view my work as a reaction to the daily "overkill" of visual information, and pencil drawings gain special emphasis due to intensive occupation with each individual image. At the same time, the work itself becomes part of the global "torrent of imagery".'

Portrait image of the artist

With a practice that traverses drawing, photography, performance, film and installation, Marc Brandenburg first came to prominence during the 1990s with his distinctive graphite drawings. Working from his own photographs, taken on long walks through Berlin or Barcelona, he isolates figures or fragments from his surroundings in meticulously detailed pencil drawings, reversing the tonalities of light and dark as in photographic negatives. Depicting drug users, street performers, rough sleepers, protestors or football fans in isolated and suspended moments, his drawings freeze otherwise fleeting scenes in a state of permanence.

'Since the 2000s, the Berlin artist has concerned himself with images of roles and bodies, costumes and rituals outside the social norm, with hooligans, demo-clowns, homeless and mentally ill people,' writes author Oliver Koerner von Gustorf. 'Brandenburg's negative-reversed black-and-white drawings thematise the vision of a broken, violent society in which people are increasingly socially isolated, suffering mental illness and addiction. He is interested in those moments when inner and outer states merge, when a person blends with his clothing, his disguise or his improvised habitation.'

With a practice that traverses drawing, photography, performance, film and installation, Marc Brandenburg first came to prominence during the 1990s with his distinctive graphite drawings. Working from his own photographs, taken on long walks through Berlin or Barcelona, he isolates figures or fragments from his surroundings in meticulously detailed pencil drawings, reversing the tonalities of light and dark as in photographic negatives. Depicting drug users, street performers, rough sleepers, protestors or football fans in isolated and suspended moments, his drawings freeze otherwise fleeting scenes in a state of permanence.

'Since the 2000s, the Berlin artist has concerned himself with images of roles and bodies, costumes and rituals outside the social norm, with hooligans, demo-clowns, homeless and mentally ill people,' writes author Oliver Koerner von Gustorf. 'Brandenburg's negative-reversed black-and-white drawings thematise the vision of a broken, violent society in which people are increasingly socially isolated, suffering mental illness and addiction. He is interested in those moments when inner and outer states merge, when a person blends with his clothing, his disguise or his improvised habitation.'

Brandenburg draws from a range of sources, including film, literature, urban cultures of the mid-20th century, activism and social segregation to consider themes of nonconformity, difference and isolation. His unconventional display strategies, such as the use of ultraviolet light, envelop the viewer in a totalising experience that is heightened by the unearthly glow. The inversion of light and dark becomes a negation of existing norms, a metaphor for the upending of the values of a society in which individuals who do not fit into the capitalist system are marginalised.

Born in Berlin, where he currently lives and works, Brandenburg grew up in Texas and Germany. In 2019, he was selected for the Unlimited section of Art Basel, curated by Gianni Jetzer, followed by a retrospective at PalaisPopulaire, Berlin in 2021. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Kunstraum Potsdam (2018); Museen Stade (2015), Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg (2012) and Hamburger Kunsthalle (2011)in Germany; and Denver Art Museum (2010) in the USA. He has also participated in group exhibitions at PalaisPopulaire, Berlin (2018); Rudolfinum, Prague (2016); Kunsthalle Bremen (2015); Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2014); ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2013); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2011); and Gropius Bau, Berlin (2011).

Videos

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Marc Brandenburg Interior/Exterior

Marc Brandenburg

Interior/Exterior
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Group Exhibition 30 JAHRE / 30 YEARS

Group Exhibition

30 JAHRE / 30 YEARS
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Group Exhibition Disaster: The End of Days

Group Exhibition

Disaster: The End of Days

Publications

Marc Brandenburg Vomit, Form, Fictitious Movement
Marc Brandenburg Vomit, Form, Fictitious Movement
Marc Brandenburg Vomit, Form, Fictitious Movement

Marc Brandenburg
Vomit, Form, Fictitious Movement

2008
Atmospheric image Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image Atmospheric image