Critics’ Picks

View of “Brandon Lattu: Full to Bursting,” 2019.

Los Angeles

Brandon Lattu

Richard Telles Fine Art
7380 Beverly Blvd
July 13–August 17, 2019

Brandon Lattu’s work is grounded in photography, a medium that has gradually relinquished every last trace of material specificity. What remains specific about photographs is their innate referentiality; they tend to expose not themselves, but something else: life, either as it is or as it could be. Lattu’s exhibition at Richard Telles, “Full to Bursting,” speaks to the current representational excess that swells the frames of pictures and inexorably pushes out into reality. For instance, a massive print in the main gallery titled Potatoes and Pebbles with Truffle Tumors (An Allegory), 2019, features hundreds of tuber and rock specimens (raw, common), digitally composited against a white ground into a cosmic field. Affixed to its frame like cancerous growths are four similarly framed rounded panels filled with images of bonbons (refined, exalted). Lattu revels in the potential crisis of a hypertrophic image body but also delivers a diagnosis. Elsewhere in the show is a modest print (The Curse of Roko’s Basilisk, 2018) of a computer-generated form that seems to geometrically mimic the irregular, curvilinear shapes of Lattu’s chosen foodstuffs. The form is proposed as the shapes' nexus, a result of the algorithm of mutation fundamental to our post-analog image-world. In the gallery’s project room, an enormously scaled three-dimensional version of this form (Archimedean Solid, 2019) bulges forth from the wall alongside a faux potato of the same proportions (Potato, 2019). Standing between them, the viewer might feel squeezed, which is the point. Heady stuff, to be sure, but also quite funny and teasingly sensuous.