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Andrew Brehm - Flamingo

Text about "FLAMINGO" by: Hannah Walsh

There is a point in late childhood or early teens when you start to become aware that things are made for your consumption. And there are many points in adulthood when you come across some character from your childhood that seems suddenly bizarre or creepy or absurd. How is it that you were ever entertained by a crude animatronic rat fronting a kitschy rock band? Why didn’t it seem questionable that Smurfette was the only girl in town?

The objects in this show feel like these Trojan horses of children’s entertainment. The shell of a smiling manatee sneaks in with rounded, lipped holes at every orifice and then some, with a mouth like a camel or a camel toe, and with a nose and a grin like a drunk.

All of the objects in the show seem to invite performance, or in less adult terms, they want to be played with. A small enough body could fit under the manatee entirely and might poke all kinds of things out of those holes. The tall black creature could get squeezed like a bagpipe or get rocked across the floor, clicking along on its plunger handle legs, a closed form except for a little bulbous butthole, practically begging for a finger. The round shell is hung up by a string, plucked from the back of an unknown animal and stored between unknown uses, ready to be a vessel, or a hat, or a belly. The fact that the show is in a tiny, empty Chinatown apartment, through many locked doors, a courtyard, and an illegally narrow hall make it seem all that much more possible that these objects have a life of their own and that by entering you’ve suspended the animation.

This is a show that feels like a rambling late-night story improvised as much for the child as for the drunk adults.

This is a show made by the youngest brother in a big family of rowdy brothers.

This is a show made by a new father.

-Hannah Walsh


Images Courtesy Etienne Frossard

CPM is proud to present Flamingo, an exhibition of new sculptures and video by Andrew Brehm.  This is Andrew’s first solo exhibition in New York.  The show will run from May 17 – June 15, 2018, with an opening reception on Thursday, May 17, 6:30 – 8:30pm.

The works in this exhibition were made over the last two years, during a time when Andrew Brehm became a new father.  A giraffe and a manatee sit together in a room. They are made from recycled paper, mashed into pulp, and molded into puffy, hollow forms.  These characters seem zapped into being, as if from a blurry childhood memory. An image of happy faces and full bodies, comfortable and content. 

ANDREW BREHM (b. 1983, Harrisburg, PA) lives and works in New York City. He received his MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011, and his BFA in Studio Furniture from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2006.