Scaramouche is pleased to present “Satin Island” by New York-based artist Paul Branca, his second solo exhibition with the gallery. In “Satin Island” Branca continues his ongoing research into circuits of distribution, use and reuse. His new paintings suggest a personal, even cryptic sign system composed of cocktail shrimp, Italian sausages, canvas keys, Magritte’s curtains and Surrealism's ubiquitous eyes. This system is not contained, and overlaps with a sticky matrix of embedded relationships; the honeyed glue that binds pigment to oil and nut to energy bar. In the distance, there is the promise of an island – isola, isolata, isolated – the way out or maybe the way in. - Clara Halpern
After working a full day at a gallery specializing in Surrealism flipping through the thousands of pages in Magritte’s catalogue raisonné in search of X work from X year, I made plans to meet David Horvitz, Zanna Gilbert and Marley Freeman in Brooklyn for dinner. David was driving Marley’s car as we all went out to get Mexican food in Brighton Beach. We missed the exit and wound up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to where we decided to find a really good pizzeria in Staten Island. Marley searched for “Staten Island famous pizza” on her iPhone. This led us to a generic place called Antonio’s Famous Pizza, I think, that we decided against and continued to look for something more typical. We ended up eating at a restaurant called La Strada which provided us with massive platters of Italian-American food. None of us could finish what we ordered. Fatty Italian sausages, eggplant parmesan, fried calamari, veal Milanese, and pastas with clams and seafood - all in mountainous portions, crowding our table and making me recall growing up in New York, spending certain Catholic holidays stuck in traffic jams with my family in the car, en route to visit my aunt and uncle in Staten Island. Driving past the now defunct topographical Fresh Kills Land Fill was always a sight to take in, as I pondered this is where the city’s garbage winds up. When my paternal grandfather started the family business of waste management on Manhattan's Lower East Side, called Branca Bros., their slogan was ‘We don’t refuse refuse!’ - Paul Branca
Paul Branca (b. 1974 Bronx, NY) received his MFA in painting from Bard College, New York in 2010. Branca’s work has been featured in exhibitions at The Kitchen; SculptureCenter; Scaramouche; Marianne Boesky Gallery, all in New York; Anat Ebgi/The Company, Los Angeles; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Berlin; Golden Parachutes, Berlin; Galeria Sabot, Cluj, Romania; and Galerie West, The Hague, Netherlands, among others. The 2nd edition of Branca’s project “The Fruit and Vegetable Stand” showcased work by over 30 artists and took place in Queens, NY in October. His work has been featured in Artforum.com, Modern Painters, GalleristNY, Art in America, Art Papers, and Flash Art International, among others. An upcoming conversation with Branca and Jesi Khadivi will appear in the next issue of Fillip.