At first glance, the work of Canadian artist Brandon Constans may appear to be collage. Instead, the Ontario-based artist paints each of the objects and creatures used to build single figures. Several of the artist’s paintings are created using a process he describes as “a technique of overlapping acrylic paint and Matte Medium in various ways to create a two-dimensional embossed surface.”
Several of his wilder works are actually self-portraits, whether it’s the contorted “Icarus,” with its banana-peel foot, “The Icon,” or even “The Devil.” In describing the latter, Constans gives some insight on who his devil really is: “This depiction represents ‘The Devil’ on the artist’s shoulder, whispering into his ear saying, ‘Go ahead and do the wrong thing, just have fun.’ The modern Devil is more a pop culture figure associated with youth and the rock ’n roll lifestyle, not an evil lord of hell. This depiction of ‘The Devil’ is that part of the artist’s youthful self, ripped from himself and captured in the painting.”
He also provides detailed descriptions of the items that comprise each work. An arm combines an ice cream cone, bacon, french fries, and cigarettes. In the case of “The Devil,” with its interiors holding marijuana and bottles for pills, viewers see the intentionality behind each piece. Though for many, the search without aid may provide too much fun, rather than getting your answers in the back of the book.