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Portland-based Artist to Exhibit for Art For Arts' Sake Opening of the New Orleans Art Season
The artist Brian Borrello in his Portland, OR studio working with BP spilled oil.

NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Jonathan Ferrara Gallery presents "Other Living Things", new works by Portland-based artist Brian Borrello in his first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will explore the delicate balance between human advancement and ecological stability. "Other Living Things" exhibition runs from September 30th, 2010 through October 30th, 2010 with an opening reception on Saturday October 2nd from 6 to 9 pm in conjunction with the annual Art for Arts' Sake city-wide opening of the New Orleans Arts Season.

For this exhibition, Borrello continues his trademark style of incorporating "toxic" materials into his artworks. In his hands materials such as crude oil, asbestos and motor oil are used to comment on man vs. nature and our fragile coexistence. Several of the works in "Other Living Things" will feature works that incorporate BP Deepwater Horizon spilled oil collected from the marshes of Louisiana and the beaches of Florida.

About the new works, Borrello says:

My aesthetic of 'deadly beauty' derives from an awareness of the lovely symmetries and imperfections of natural forms, an acknowledgement of the special qualities that living things have developed by adaptation over time, and a celebration of the resilience and uniqueness of the inhabitants of this planet.

In these drawings and paintings, I offer meditation on the delicate interrelationship that humans and other life forms share. I am particularly interested in creating awareness of human life in balance with other living things and our shared environment.

Often these images are rendered in carbon based materials, like charcoal, ink, and oil, reflecting the carboniferous origins of life on earth. The botanical drawings and paintings are expressed in the growth and becoming of plant forms, yet they also are in fragmentation or decay. The landscape pieces are impressions of ecosystems, marked by the influence of human industry and activity and also document the temporal nature of life on earth.

Our civilization relies upon a finite supply of carbon based fuels, and whether liquid (oil), solid (coal) or gas (gas), that material was millions of years in the making. We extract these "resources" from mountaintop to sea bottom, bringing up (and burning up) the accumulated masses of plant life from millennia past. Our grandchildren's children may likely inherit an earth bereft of this legacy of accessible and abundant hydrocarbons to support their lives, and a significant amount of adaptation and resourcefulness may be necessary for the comfort, if not survival, of our species.

The drawings of Gulf Coast flora - these "other living things," are shadow images, embodying the carbon-based life forms that strive to live now- nurtured by, or in spite of, the efforts and actions of humankind. -Brian Borrello, 2010

Brian Borrello has a BFA from University of New Orleans and an a MFA from Arizona State University, with post-graduate course work in architectural engineering. He is an artist, activist, public artist, curator and environmentalist. In addition to his graphic work, Borrello is well-known for his public art projects and art advocacy. Borrello maintains a production studio in north Portland (OR), where he masters such skills as welding, metal casting, and neon glassblowing. He is also the principal of Neonjones, a neon and LED lighting design and fabrication facility.

Since 2004, Borrello has been engaged as an artist/facilitator by the US Army Corps of Engineers and EPA, as part of their Brownfields Initiative Program, conducting vision-planning sessions with Brownfield communities nationwide. He is the co-creator of the 'Multi-Vision Integration/ Vision to Action Tool," used in public meetings to assist Brownfields communities to envision, render, and implement sustainable solutions.

Brian Borrello's work has been exhibited across the US in galleries and museum exhibitions. His work is in numerous public and private collections including the Portland Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, the City of Portland, the Oregon Zoo, the Audubon Zoological Institute and the Four Season Hotel in Washington, D.C. His public art projects can be seen in Oregon, Louisiana, California and Colorado Washington and New Mexico. His work and curatorial projects have been reviewed in The New York Times, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Times-Picayune and on NPR and Good Morning America among others.

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