Brandon Lomax creates sculptures and installations exploring the intuitive and material interrelationships of the body, time, earth and the elements — in particular, the marvelous ways in which working with clay and in nature expresses them all at once. Highlighting the creative and making process, his sculptures are biomorphic and also radiate warm energy and the strange aura of unearthed artifacts. Lomax’s site-specific exhibitions choreograph such objects to interplay with the cyclic rhythms of nature; a new installation opens this week at the California Botanic Garden in Claremont, in which fired sculptures will inhabit the grounds through June, and unfired works will periodically subsume back into the soil.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
BRANDON LOMAX: I suppose it struck me pretty early on as I began to realize it was my most effective means for problem solving.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
I have always been fascinated with the spaces between us. The dividing lines. The things we use to define ourselves as different from one another. For the past several years I made work about it to help myself understand. As time goes on, I find myself focusing on how we can use those differences to develop a more symbiotic exchange with every part of this planet… In summary, I suppose I’d say that my work is an exploration of individual experience in a shared context.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I’d probably be some sort of scientist… collecting and interpreting data (not unlike what I’m doing most days in the studio, just with more rules).
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
I am currently enrolled in an MFA program in rural Ireland. It never felt necessary or relevant to me until recently, but as the work I do overlaps with the sciences more and more, I feel the need to validate some aspects of my process and work in an academic context.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
I guess because L.A. is its own satellite in the art world… A bit different and left of center from the more traditionally recognized epicenters. It has a very vibrant and diverse group of practitioners, galleries, dealers, curators and museums doing amazing things, but rarely gets credited with being at the forefront of the contemporary Art World. I think somehow that is a unifier for the greater art community here.
When was your first show?
5th grade parent/teacher night. My ever-supportive artist mother bought my piece at auction for three dollars.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
I am currently installing an outdoor solo show of sculpture works at the California Botanic Garden in Claremont, CA. It opens on November 13 and goes through June.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
I have a complex relationship with music as I play and write my own songs from time to time, so sometimes I find it way too distracting. Listening to music can be as engaging as reading a book for me, so typically I don’t.
Website and social media handles, please!
NB: “I committed the reprehensible act of deleting all my social media accounts about 10 months ago, so I am far less accessible than I “should” be.” Nice one, Brandon!