Brian Leo “Winners Are the New Losers”

Roll Up Gallery will host painter Brian Leo’s art installation entitled, “Winners Are the New Losers”. The artist will be exhibiting small to medium-sized paintings.

Brian Leo’s paintings are a mixture of abstract and literal ideas, clever associations and juxtaposed interpretations that read as social commentary and political satire along with depictions that are interesting takes on common situations.

This exhibition includes a painting of a person in a bomb suit surrounded by suitcases, a chainsaw floating above a bison head, and a portrait of Donald Trump’s immigrant mother with a bottle and cigarette in hand. All his paintings, canvases that are colorful and imaginative, calls into question our collective consciousness and challenges viewers to take a closer look – both at the artwork and at their own belief systems.

“My work includes appropriating imagery and content from advertisements, the news, internet and pop culture, which I alter and give new meaning to. I incorporate this imagery and content with anecdotes from my experiences and references to my personal history. I have an eye for the mundane, ironic, clever, humorous, absurd and unjust parts of life, which I communicate by exhibiting clusters of small, brightly colored acrylic paintings. I use poetic imagery as a direct interpretation of what I experience: too many things at once or a narrative I try to understand.”

Brian Leo is an NYC-based artist who has exhibited widely in both galleries and art fairs. He most recently exhibited at Megumi Ogita Gallery in Tokyo , Art Gwanju in South Korea. and Amy Li Projects in NYC.

Roll Up Gallery (Public Works) is located in the Mission District, at 161 Erie Street (between Duboce & 14th st.) San Francisco, CA 94103.

About the artist:

Brian Leo (b. 1976 New Jersey) is a painter known for his floor-to-ceiling installations of small paintings. Leo’s source material draws broadly on personal identity, current events, pop culture, and social issues, resulting in brightly colored paintings of cartoonish forms and appropriated images. At the age of 16, Leo began painting as an emotional catharsis. He enrolled at Rutgers University without intentions to study art but it was during these years that his interest in painting took root. His efforts to create poetic imagery were inspired by Joan Miro and Paul Klee, and looking at Amy Sillman’s paintings influenced his use of personal history. Leo also went on trips to visit SoHo art galleries where he saw Barry McGee’s installations, which inspired him to present public and private concepts in a non-linear way. As a result, Leo intends for his audience to make free associations from his paintings, which range from clever and humorous to poignant, and to approach his installations as an intimate setting.

After graduating from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of Art in 1999 with a BFA, he traveled around the world and studied ancient and contemporary Asian, European and Australian art. He settled in New York and briefly assisted artist Ronnie Cutrone. He has exhibited widely in both galleries and art fairs. His most recent exhibitions include Amy Li Projects, Megumi Ogita Gallery and Art Gwangju. Leo lives and works in New York City.


Curator: Betty Bigas

The exhibit special pre-opening will be celebrated the day before the opening. on Thursday, May 18 , from 7-10 pm during the ”
Gabriel & Dresden Album Launch Party” Benefit Beats Drop Cancer event.
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