Scott Pickering radiates energy, and you can see that on the walls at Brandt Gallery, which are almost completely covered by paintings in a career retrospective show he’s calling “eyeball chatter.”
Beginning with works he did when he was not yet a teenager (including a color-by number clown done at age 12, which already shows that he’s only a little bit interested in working within the lines, and a lot interested in the texture of paint) it spans roughly 35 years of his vividly colorful output.
He mostly works in acrylic and pastel, often recycling foam core and other paintable surfaces from his company, Exhibit Builders. The thick, layered, and scratchy textures that result serve his subject matter well. There’s almost always a living figure—be it a person or some other animal—and they often seem to be shrieking the madness of the world.
By themselves these pictures are just plain fun to look at, but the installation at Brandt takes their effect into another realm: they are crowded on the walls, frame to frame, and sometimes overlapping, just about floor to ceiling, without much space between them. The presentation is an extension of the work itself. Just one frustrating thing about it: Scene Art Director Ron Kretsch and I both found that the pieces we most wanted to buy were not being offered for sale.
You’ve got one more chance to see his reckless joy ride of a show at its closing reception during this month’s Tremont Art Walk. Pickering, who’s been about as prolific in music as in visual art, will be dividing his time between this show and another he’s involved in (at Asterisk Gallery)—which is further testimony that he just can’t stop making stuff. Check it out from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Brandt Gallery (1028 Kenilworth, brandtgallery.org, 216.621.1610). Free.