Melbourne : Melbourne Books, 2010. Quarto, boards, illustrated, pp. 232, housed in publisher’s box.
Frantic Bloom showcases the stylistically varied and compelling work of Anthony Breslin, a painter, poet, performer, stage designer and director from Melbourne.
For Breslin, art is a happening, a transformation of the material used, with artist and artwork engaging in a trance-dance of creation. As Breslin explains: “This manic search in coloured paint is an attempt to encapsulate the memory of an imaginary kaleidoscope I yearned for as a child, but never did it manifest itself in any birthday box I ever knew.”
Described as a lovechild of modern primitivism’s denouncement of the ultra- technological urban landscape, surrealism’s revolt against the tyranny of Reason, and expressionism’s desire to externalise the inner turmoil of the individual, Breslin’s work is composed of circuitous outlines, undulating curves and Pollock-esque paint splatters,
as well as deformed human faces and bold, festive colours. These embody Breslin’s attempt to depict the plight of the modern- day human forever entrenched in the process of self-formation and self-assertion.
“In much of Breslin’s work, his ability to celebrate the ‘otherworld’ of imagination
is associated with both delight and a
slight dread of all that life offers. While
he generally revels in the sense of play and joy, some primitive dark force inevitably glimmers beneath the surface, to animate the anxious bugs trapped on canvas and to chill the startled stares of his subjects as they contemplate the void.”
– Dr Lisa Dethridge, ‘The artist as urban shaman’
Includes a foreword by The Hon. Paul M. Guest QC and an introductory essay by
Dr Lisa Dethridge of RMIT University, along with a list of Breslin’s exhibitions and a personal timeline.