Cudelice Brazelton IV (b. 1991, USA) implicates the viewer in a landscape full of remnants of bizarre tools and objects. The materials the artist employs have very specific meanings embedded in them. The viewers’ minds begin a play of association triggered by the fleshiness of the gestures that surround us. The space holds Some Resonance: the materials seem familiar yet distorted, modified but not transformed beyond the loss of what was once there. This characteristic is key to Brazelton’s practice. He is interested in the rela- tionship between cosmetic imagery and hardware and in the processes of modification that mark both these realms. This concern is not only echoed by the subjects of Brazelton’s works but also by his gestures. By acts of tearing, scratching, reconstructing, piercing, and piecing together, Brazelton renders the works as agents that undergo some sort of procedures. Some Resonance takes place in what used to be a tailor shop. This space is thus familiar with the language invoked by the artist. The techniques of modification, whether surgical, artisanal, or technical, feel at home here.
The hair salon acts as a point of departure for many of Brazelton’s pieces. This space holds personal re- sonance for the artist as he spent much of his time in his mother’s salon in their basement. Treasure is a mixed-media installation that holds an inkjet print of a training toolkit containing apparatus needed for beauty school. The chiffon curtain flows from the ceiling into what looks like a real duffle bag. What intrigued Brazel- ton was how these beauty appliances acquire a forensic aesthetic. The gestures seen in Some Resonance often mimic ways in which one would cut their hair or assemble their outfit. Thus, while Brazelton strays away from proposing a delineated figure, there is still a feeling of identity. For Stride, Brazelton employed his technique of building an image by skidding and scratching the brush on the canvas. The ethereal corpus that emerged was a product of chance. The felt presence of an identity is then constructed by the gestures that personify subcultural signifiers rather than by the figurative forms.
Brazelton’s artistry transcends the aesthetic realm; he emerges as both a machinist and a stylist, wielding tools of correction and deconstruction within the intimate confines of a former tailor shop. The artist allows the material’s symbolic and physical qualities to expand in space. In this unique terrain, the boundaries between the cosmetic, the forensic, and the industrial fade. The faulty lines and markings on the materials mirror our own journeys of self-modification. Brazelton’s art resonates with the viewer’s inner dialogue, pro- voking meditation on the curious interplay of identity, personal narrative, and the ceaseless desire to express one’s difference.