Art Review


Brandon Borchert's Random Art Two, currently at Capsule @ Pod (554 Santa Fe Drive, 303-623-3460), is one of this season's hottest prospects. Though Borchert has shown around for the past several years, he was little known until earlier this season. His big breakthrough came with an appearance in this summer's wildly popular Repeat Offenders at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture. That show included pieces by some big names in town, but the real news was a trio of upstarts: conceptual painter Borchert and photographers Katie Taft and Jason Patz.

Although a Colorado native, Borchert grew up in Texas and earned his BFA at the University of North Texas in Denton. He's recently returned to Denver, and he good-naturedly recalls that his efforts were not well received by his Texas art teachers, one of whom called him a "high school superstar." Ouch! Surely part of the problem was Borchert's interest in employing non-art techniques, notably airbrush painting. "Airbrush is tough because it has so much baggage," he says. And though he doesn't say why that's true, we all know anyway: painted vans.

As interesting as his technique is -- and he is incredibly adept technically -- it's his organizational program that's most intriguing. Borchert has developed a set of images that correspond to a set of numbers. The images fall into four categories: "sex, death, food and art history." (Hey, isn't that a Swedish movie from the '60s?) The numbers, 1 through 53, are those generated by the Powerball lottery. By associating the images with the numbers, Borchert comes up with pseudo-narrative paintings. For these Warholian acrylics on paper, he simply creates straightforward renditions of the selected images, such as the time bomb depicted in "48" (right).

Borchert is an exciting new addition to the local scene, and it's great that Capsule has given him this smart little solo, which runs through December 4.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia