'The Spoils of Capitalism' by Michael Braden courtesy of the artist and George Billis Los Angeles

Urban Ecologies: A Pattern Language by Michael Braden @ George Billis Gallery Los Angeles

December 6, 2019

In his most recent opening at George Billis Los Angeles, Mr. Michael Braden is seeking to restore balance to the ecology of Planet Earth in an effort to guide our perceptions towards equilibrium rather than towards devastation in an incredibly minimalist, mollifying manner; as a tonic for the seismic technological shifts that have compounded during humanity’s enthusiastic rush towards urban centers of civilization in not even two centuries. This aim by the artist is ambitious, considering the latent context provided by simple harmonies of color and the visually apodictic nature of geometry.


This is to say, the logical necessity of the motion of lines is exercised by the artist to provide lucidity amidst the confrontation of the evolutionarily inconceivable awarded to us by the churning of billions of digital bits every week. What is stupendous in this effort is the aim at taking the beauty of mathematical completeness, being unsatisfied with its simplicity, and extending it toward what Coleridge would claim to be a “moral idea”. This is categorically the proper task of art, and yet is invisible to the eye which is content with the resolution of geometrical forms.


It is here where fine art can proudly distance itself from decoration in that the invisible stroke of the artist is seen in the added context to the subject matter through his titular utility, e.g. The Spoils of Capitalism. With this addition of spirituality, Mr. Braden is edifying mankind through wrestling with the anxieties of human frailty and a stereotypical pessimism with its potential. And yet, through the affirmation of beauty, we have a collection of talismans to ward off the lust for Inferno, to maintain our pathway onto Paradise. The artist, then, is representing a successful strike at Nietzsche’s target when the philosopher proclaims “art is the proper task of life.”


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