The Allure | Brandon Locher | The Motherlode


The Allure | Brandon Locher
Mazes to the Motherlode

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Not one to confine himself to one medium, Brandon Locher is NY artist you're likely to encounter in myriad ways. As active as a visual artist as he is a musical one, Locher was the subject of our recent feature on his current music outlet Stage Hands, which we wrote about on the eve of their most recent release, a self-titled record that combines elements of jazz, electronic and ambient textures. 

But it was Locher's intricate, high contrast visual work that first drew us to him, most notably his collaborations with the Ghostly International label, a kindred spirit of sorts when it comes to music with a side of elegantly curated design. There was a series of Locher's work made available as free wallpaper downloads for computers and mobile toys. Now, Locher has produced an exclusive work for Ghostly—a 19"x19" hand-drawn pen on paper illustration that is being released today as a small-batch, limited-edition print, an exact replica of the original piece. 

As a pairing to our write-up on Locher's music, we followed up with the spirited artist to get a better glimpse of this other side of his livelihood. His latest piece is entitled "Mazes to the Motherlode XL" and is a new installment in an ongoing series that began in 2010 to explore a nebulous concept of something akin to enlightenment. The endeavor translates ideas about our journey to understand our place, the meaning behind it all and our struggle to embrace the presence of a given moment in a visual realm juxtaposing—a word that comes to mind often when writing about Locher—vast open spaces and densely populated swaths of dots, lines and formless amoebas.


"If you try to speak of the Motherlode, you can’t say what it is, because it won’t fit into words or concepts. This is why we get so frustrated with enlightenment," Locher says of the reasoning behind Maze to the Motherlode. "Our dissatisfaction originates within us. It arises out of our own blindness to what our situation actually is, out of our wanting reality to be something other than what it is. To be fully alive, we must be fully present." Locher intends Maze to the Motherlode to be "a personal topographic blueprint for the vision and self creation of even smaller moons, larger galaxies, and realized worlds."

He also describes his work within the "Motherlode" as a meditative process, a way to find the presence of mind he's describing. Some days, drawing would occupy eight to 10 hours, with weeks dedicated to full-time concentration even if the end seemed far away. "I don’t think I will ever find the Motherlode," Locher adds, his point being that this is, well, hardly the point. "I believe it’s more than just one thing. It’s about here and now. About waking up to this moment, seeing this for what it is. This awakening is available to all of us, at every moment."

At the risk of sounding overly materialistic amid a sentiment that runs much deeper, the finished product Locher has created is one well worth considering. His earlier work in the series is an imaginative and diverse collection of star maps, abstract expression and what appear on the surface to be close-ups of cells. "Mazes to the Motherlode XL" is something nearer to his musical side, a beautiful mess of tangled patch chords, a bird's nest of wiring impersonating the sun and a little slice of some inner universe to fill that space on the wall.

Brandon Locher's "Mazes to the Motherlode XL" is available now, directly from the Ghostly Store.




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