Detail of Brent Ozaeta's Mushroom Cloud. Acrylic on panel, 27x38," 2018. courtesy artist

Visual Arts

New Art To Know This Week: Youth Culture and Pulp Comics, in Ben-Day Dots

Dallas painter and printmaker Brent Ozaeta reveals the process behind the evocative Plastic Flowers.

Saturday the DADA Spring Art Walk offered a fabulous assortment of openings, but the vivid pop art landscapes of Brent Ozaeta’s solo show Plastic Flowers were the most memorable. The Dallas painter and printmaker communicates a sense of urgency and media overload directly connected to millennial overconsumption of imagery by way of Instagram or Tumblr.

Ozaeta’s opening at The Public Trust coincided with a reception for Bogdan Pierzynski: The Future’s Ecology at Liliana Bloch in the space shared by the two galleries in the Design District. With images crafted from recognizable iconography that connects with the viewer, Ozaeta’s linear work utilizes patterns to create depth and movement.

“I collect a database of all the drawings I make to digitally collage them later. The source images I use for my paintings are assembled from iconic manga on Tumblr, photographs from life, and pornographic hentai,” Ozaeta says.

Tender Trap by Brent Ozaeta. 27.5″ x 27.5,” acrylic on panel, 2018.

Walking through the gallery, I felt a vague personal connection to the images in the paintings and spent a few moments trying to remember what show or where I had first seen particular figures. This series features women in distress, psychedelic imagery, bukkake textures, floral patterns, and weapons, articulated in pastel pinks, greens, and yellows influenced by old Color Graphics Adapter games from the early 1980s.     

“The color scheme that I use always revolves around the colors pink or fuchsia. Images of women in distress are a common theme in this series,” Ozaeta says. “The women depicted in the paintings come from western and eastern illustrations including American Pulp Comics, fashion advertisements, or vintage anime.”

“The process of painting starts with a digital collage in Illustrator,” Ozaeta explains. “I bleed back the edges of the individual images, hand paint them, and then screen print all the black outlines over the top, including the patterns of Ben-Day dots, halftone, and checkerboards.”

 Brent Ozaeta’s Plastic Flowers is on view at The Public Trust until April 21.

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