Web Gallery: Brian Felsen


SMARTS Gallery helps talented international artists and designers advance their creative careers. Aside from presenting their artwork, we help them understand their work in the context of the art market, and to develop effective presentation skills and documents. Click here for more information.







My photography (and video and performance work) explores how the mind works and how its mechanisms affect how people (especially lovers) interact with each other. In collaboration with various famous philosophers and pyschologists, I explore the link between the way procedures jostle for attention in one's own consciousness and the way lovers compete to control each other's behavior.

Another theme running through my photography is the way one's memories, future plans, fantasies and desires compete for attention with the "real world." I convey this simultaneity through digital manipulation: an opera singer practices in a room full of distractions and alternate selves acting on her; a husband fantasizes murdering a sleeping spouse in a bedroom filled with dry ice. To illustrate the way memory acts as a scrim on our daily experience and relationships, I transform toys and children's books and shoot in abandoned swimming pools and playgrounds.

In my pictures, I also explore the theatricality of daily life, "performances" which are about both the way we speak to ourselves in conscious experience and the way married couples perform with each other. To this end, I manipulate and position my subjects like department-store mannequins and photograph them using the hotlights of film. I use entertaining and theatrical compositions, digital manipulation, children's objects, and stereo photography (View Master Reels and Holmes stereo viewers) to surprise the viewer while giving a sense of recognition.