Talent of the Year 2020 - FINALIST: Brendon Kahn
Wet Grass Dry Shade
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In sweeping disregard, through neglected instincts, I have made a hard exterior that is easy to crack and topple like the layers of sediment crumbing to reveal new rock never before seen. Growing up in the desert, elements like wind, water, and dust all activating modes of erosion have an emotional connection to my own fragile energy and state of harmony. A lens enables a path to unearth my roots and retrace my existence by blending symbolism, form, and metaphor. Void landscapes as my adopted home have always felt like the place that I need to be to reach that true state whenever I have drifted elsewhere. Moving homes meant that the cities were forgotten only to find peace in what lied underneath the concrete and the fantasies created from the life in my own reality. Both fact and fiction have created a world where facing the fear of discovery can no longer be shelved.
For as long as I can remember I have been running with open eyes but unable to comprehend who I am. Guided by a lens to work through confusion this work serves as an investigation sewn by my movement, history, and connection to the physical earth. Being adopted and never knowing my parents names, physical features, or any information has formed a strange dislocation to my own identity. Through my adoption I have never known what it means to see the biological flesh which made you. This healing process is the beginning of a journey to consider who I am.
Southwest United States based visual artist Brendon Kahn’s work explores today’s reality where the approach to photography is navigated by a mirage in the vicinity of contrast and unsettling moments where uncanny disruptions defamiliarize our experiences with the ordinary. Guided by competition and paved by modernity’s fierce push for perfection, these strangely manufactured channels of both sincerity and surreal moments raise questions around our notions of certainty and visual faith. Using bold, sensual colors within gripping environments Kahn configures a mysterious and at times destabilizing reality for the viewer. Kahn astutely focuses in on the enigmatic perspectives he discovers, thereby revealing the subtleties and strange beauty in the visible world. With concentrated focus, he creates highly charged and psychologically captivating images of great resonance. After completing his BFA at California College of the Arts, he continues to make lens based work and won the PDNedu Grandprize for Landscape as well being a finalist for Miami Photo, HeadOn, Lenzburg Foto, shortlisted for the Lucie Foundation x Chromalux Fine Art Scholarship, winner of the Photography Award for the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize, and one of the Lensculture 2019 Emerging Artist winners.