Theo Baransky at Beauty Gallery

Pictured Above: ‘Warner Brothers’ Acrylic on paper, 12×18” 2023, by Theo Baranksy. Photo Credit: Contributed.



Frenchtown, NJ – Beauty Gallery welcomes Theo Baransky’s works from May 20th to July 8th, 2023. This group of works represents a selection from Theo Baransky’s practice of painting film production and distribution company logos, a collection of images sourced through extensive research and held in memory.

They are small-scale (apparently semi-devotional) works in which a floating sign is held before us in air. Often symmetrical or nearly so, they call to mind ritual objects or the symbols that bring about magic (as in the magical light of a movie). 

Pictured Above: BWE, acrylic on paper, 9 x 11 in, 2023 by Theo Baranksy. Photo Credit: Contributed.

The paintings are focused on the moment of expectation just before the feature presentation takes the stage; they infer both the soaring moment of pleasure that happens before watching a good and perhaps oft-returned-to movie (an affect captured so well by the music accompanying these logos), as well as the power structures which finance, shape, and mediate movie production and, so, movie reception to what degree this is possible. 

As sigils they locate us at the precipice of something which promises (and at times delivers) immersion, wonder, splendor, excitement, a role model, heartbreak, a vision of ourselves at our best and worst, the letters of which spell the names of corporate entities whose objectives also include such mundane violences as the operation, consolidation, and expansion of hegemonic power via the portals of representation and storytelling.

 The grand edifices, heroic animals, spotlit chrome letters, gods, goddesses, and skyscrapers that tend to feature in the logos of Baranskys time period of interest are here rendered in the familiar, gentle tones of a much touched pebble, the intimate scale and tender, searching brushwork bringing us towards a reception of the grandiose and operatic as friendly, tended to, companionable.

Baransky is deeply interested in film production and distribution companies, particularly in little known and small scale entities, whose output between the 80s and 90s brought vhs and dvd’s to many home screens. 

He is fascinated with editing, and though not religious himself, with films edited to conform to the “family” values of the LDS church. Films aimed towards children are of particular interest to him, as are B-movies and their makers, whose often wide shifts in genre (from the family-film to the erotic thriller) bring him delight. His knowledge of and memory for the companies and people involved in making movies is extensive and voracious.

– Hop Peternell

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