Brandon Keenan was born and raised in the Kansas City suburbs. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 2017 with BFAs in Visual Art and History of Art. While his early studies focused mostly on various types of printmaking, during his last year of undergrad he worked mostly with painting and installation. Keenan’s work focuses on memories, questions of their reliability and how they relate to our sense of self. His travels around the United States and to Europe and Japan have served as sources of inspiration, both with overt imagery and in the form of more subtle themes. He has shown work at the University of Kansas and several spaces in the Lawrence area. Planning to go to graduate school, he will spend the next year in Lawrence making art and exploring his options.
Our sense of self is the culmination of our memories and the narrative we create to string them together. Because our brains are not perfect, our memories are inevitably flawed and incomplete. Yet we still act as though our memories are infallible. The eye witness statement is taken as fact. In reality memories are more like dreams. We take in so much information through our senses, our brains have to cut through the noise to understand the message. The noise often gets mixed in with the message, making it hard to tell what is noise and what is message. My work is focused on the interactions between the noise and the message. My subject matter is drawn from my memories. Whether it is something as impactful as a month long trip to Japan or an off handed quote from an Art History professor like: “There were always people making flower paintings.” I am always seeking to make these memories into a representation; an object, a space, a video. In doing this I am not seeking to make a perfect record, rather a purposefully flawed one. I focus on the process when creating the representation. This often involves doing something obsessively and working in layers. It can also be found in allowing intuition total control. Giving the unconscious a voice, through color choice or the structure of a collage or painting for example, is very important to my work. Working with the process allows unintended accidents to give the work its noise.
Education 2017BFA Visual Art and History of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 2013 Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS
Artist Residencies 2016Papermaking Workshop, Awagami Paper Factory, Tokushima, Japan 2016 Mokuhanga Workshop, MI-LAB Residency, Fuji-Kawaguchiko-cho, Japan
Solo Exhibitions 2016Let the Trees Speak, Kansas Union Gallery, Lawrence, KS 2015 @B_KEEN, Mana Bar, Lawrence, KS
Group Exhibitions 2017Emergence, Lawrence Creates Makerspace, Lawrence KS 2016KU Scholarship Show, Department of Visual Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 2015KU Scholarship Show, Department of Visual Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 2014KU Scholarship Show, Department of Visual Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS Related Experience 2017The Art of the Book: Bound Monotypes, Anderson Ranch, Snowmass Village, CO 2016Study Abroad, Visual Art in Japan, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 2015Study Abroad, Visual Art in Europe, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 2015-17 Lithography Shop Assistant, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS