A colorful painting of five figures before a building

The paintings of the Bakersfield-based artist Brandon D. Landers are composed of irregular surfaces, applied thickly and shaped with a palette knife. His subjects are a mix of portraits, gatherings, and quotidian scenes, some pulled from his imagination, others from memories of his childhood and family life in South Central Los Angeles. Through his prolific body of work, Landers has articulated a distinct vocabulary: rooms that seem to defy the rules of perspective, human proportions that are often distorted, and characters showcasing monstrously toothy grins. Advertising and brands are occasionally featured in his images, but the text in the paintings is consistently drawn backward—mirrored— stressing the alternative reality of his compositions. Cues, codes, and play with language are peppered throughout the works (for example, outlets make an incongruous cameo in the paintings as a response to the colloquialism “Are you plugged in?”—to which he answers, “I’m the outlet”).

The paintings on view reconstruct scenes that the artist describes as “unrecorded events.” His figures are a conflation of attributes of his family and friends—the folks he surrounds himself with—and he aims to illustrate their inherent warmth and values through his rendering.

In Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the artist’s work is present in two institutions, across Los Angeles. See Brandon D. Landers's work on view at The Huntington.

Brandon D. Landers was born in 1985 in Los Angeles. He received a BA from California State University in Bakersfield, where he still lives. Landers’s paintings are composed of irregular surfaces, applied thickly, and shaped with a palette knife. His subjects are a mix of portraits, gatherings, and quotidian scenes, some pulled from his imagination, others from memories of his childhood and family life in South Central Los Angeles. Through his prolific body of work, Landers has articulated a distinct vocabulary: rooms that seem to defy the rules of perspective, human proportions that are often distorted, and characters showcasing monstrously toothy grins. Advertising and brands are occasionally featured in his images, but the text in the paintings is consistently drawn backward—mirrored—stressing the alternative reality of his compositions. Cues, codes, and play with language are peppered throughout the works (e.g., outlets make an incongruous cameo in the paintings as a response to the colloquialism “Are you plugged in?”—to which he answers, “I’m the outlet”). Landers has exhibited his work at M+B Gallery (2019); BBQLA (2018); Club Pro (2017), all in Los Angeles; Younger Gallery, Bakersfield (2016); and Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University, Bakersfield (2013).