Brin Levinson’s paintings depict worlds in which humans have lived, but now animals seem to rule. These ghost towns, with similar landmarks and industrial vibes to the city the Portland resident calls home, imply that mankind’s abuse of the land and its creatures resulted in its exit. These works appear in a new show from Levinson, titled “Anthropocene,” which now hits Antler Gallery in Portland. The show lasts through Nov. 22. Levinson was most recently featured on HiFructose.com here.
The artist says he begins the process of creating a new work with photos, using either found ones or snaps he’s captured. Levinson says the oil painting typically takes shape organically, with the animals coming into play later, after the backdrop and perspective is established. He says he doesn’t often sketch the ideas first, as the finished product rarely resembles what was envisioned.
Some of the paintings feel born out of sobering reality, while others inject surrealism into the mix with sea animals that float openly through the cityscapes or creatures posed together in stoic cooperation. Even with drab skies and rundown and eroded urban environments, there’s a serene quality to several of the scenes.