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Brian Mashburn, “Fictions
February 26th – March 27th, 2022.

Haven Gallery is pleased to present a collection of twelve new paintings from North Carolina based artist Brian Mashburn, for his third solo show entitled “Fictions”. As the title suggests, this new collection pulls inspiration from fictitious works of literature and embeds these written references in his multi-layered landscapes. Brian’s work traditionally blends various geographic identities with a variety of animals and terrains. Influences often stem from works of history, non-fiction titles and real life animal studies, to ground his visual fundamentals into reality. His trained hand merges these varied elements into one seamless environment creating a pastiche of time and place. A new perspective on the movement of time and the necessity, as well as persistence of the natural world. One cannot exist without the other, and similarly, works of fictions and expressions of creativity must prevail for the permanency of civilization. ABOUT Brian Mashburn Brian Mashburn is an American artist based in the mountains of North Carolina. He studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a BFA in 2002. Brian’s work depicts urban and industrial landscapes in close proximity to the natural world. Primarily an oil painter, Mashburn uses narrative and meticulous attention to detail to engage the viewer. His work is informed by everyday observations as well as an interest in history, natural science, and philosophy.Brian lives in Asheville, NC.

Some notes on the series:
“Fictions” is a series of 13 paintings rooted in literature. My intention wasn’t purely illustrative. Rather my aim was to allow and encourage books from a relatively broad reading list I’ve compiled to inform the paintings indirectly, leaving a palimpsest-like impression on an image both related to and independent from a work of fiction. While working on the show I would read in my free time and listen to the audiobooks while painting. Many of the books didn’t make their way into paintings, but I imagine in time more and more will.
There is something about popular fiction that has the ability to create a shared experience. Whether it’s a community’s pride in a renowned hometown author – Thomas Wolfe and Carl Sandburg come to mind in Asheville – or how a novel can shift the way entire groups of people are considered in the public imagination. The Good Earth (Pearl Buck) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) had humanizing effects on Chinese immigrants and white Southerners respectively, presenting a more nuanced and perhaps romanticized vision to groups prone to parody and derision.
There is a certain kind of truth, could be axiomatic or something like, that is more readily found in fiction than in non-fiction. In using literature as foundation for pictures I am fishing for shared experience; common ground via timeless stories, axioms or styles, between viewer and artwork.

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