for bad bots

Solo Exhibition: Reclaiming My Humanity, New Works by Brett


Reclaiming My Humanity

New Works by Brett McDanel

Exhibiting: September 30 – November 10, 2017


A little over seven years ago, Brett McDanel pulled into Oklahoma City’s oldest arts district to knock on a few doors. Director Tony Morton was on his way home when the two met for the first time. A quick exchange led the duo to the passenger side of a late 80’s pickup, and the first of many artworks that Morton would exhibit for the artist over the coming years. “Brett’s work has evolved immensely.” Morton notes “When I first met Brett, his works were playful experiments; they just happened to be great playful experiments.” The artist’s earliest works capitalized on the natural world with the majority of his first subjects being birds or comical interplay between animals.

As the production of the work became more fluid, the subjectivity of the work became more narrative and elements of the artist’s life started presenting themselves. Brett’s segue into the arts world came about when he went to work for artist Tom Lee seventeen years ago. McDanel was initially forced to get a job by the system and Brett took the first job he could find. Tom Lee was constantly prodding McDanel toward creativity. It was, however, Tom’s passing in 2010 that prompted the inception of Brett’s creativity. The next major evolution in the artist’s sculptures also arrived with tragedy. Following a car wreck and a nasty series of events, the artist’s compositions became something more than just a playful practice and it was around that time that McDanel’s figure studies started to emerge.

Ever increasingly, Brett started to rely on his artwork as an outlet for his experience. Emotional content started to present itself in sculptural allegories where the earliest figures expressed human commonalities such as feeling forlorn, seeking inspiration and poking things you know you shouldn’t in an act of ignorant curiosity. As his figures developed, so did the reach of the experiences that inspired them; and today the sociopolitical nature of the Brett’s work is undeniable: “At this point in my life, it’s everything I can do not to build statements out of spite. I hate a lot of what’s going on in the world right now. It’s aggravating the piss out of me.”  The artist continues, “There are a lot of hoops. As you get older, they get smaller; and there are more of them.” The recurrent theme in McDanel’s sculpture is working through and overcoming struggle; often depicted through dark comedy.

On September 30th, Kasum Contemporary Fine Art will bring focus to an exhibit of Brett McDanel’s newest sculptural statements in “Reclaiming My Humanity,” a solo exhibit of the artist’s works. The exhibit is slated to run through November 10th and will include works from installation scale to smaller pedestal and wall placements. Speaking on the topic of his new sculptures, Brett says “People get shut down; they won’t push through because they’ve hit that point. They say I can either go to the stars or I can sit down and look at them from here. A lot of people just sit down and look, not many people say you know what, screw it I’m doing this. If they push through it, they wind up being these inspiring examples, and that’s what I want to do with these pieces.”

The exhibit and associated events are free and open to the public. The gallery features exhibit receptions, lectures, demonstrations, pop-up exhibits, interactive installations, special performance events and seasonal patron events. The establishment is open Monday and Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30am – 7:30pm and Sunday from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Kasum Contemporary Fine Art is located at 1706 NW 16th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73106 and can be reached by calling 405.604.6602.

Solo Exhibition: Reclaiming My Humanity, New Works by Brett McDanel

Sep 30 – Nov 10, 2017