By Wayne Doyle
For Brandon Baghaee, a student at the Ontario College of Art University, everyday experiences are tinged with importance – they are the source of his inspiration.
In the painting “For Better or for Worse?” Brandon captures a young person shooting hoops on a beautiful summer’s day. There’s nobody else in the frame – save for a t-shirt sporting the face of Spiderman – Brandon’s favourite superhero. It’s a slice of adolescence and one that is absolutely intentional in almost every picture Brandon makes.
“In all of my works I try to tell a story,” Brandon began to explain. “The story informs everything else about the work – the colours, the textures, the point-of-view, the shapes.
“In most of my work, I always have a figure. That’s how shape informs my work. The colour – I’m always thinking about colour – the hue, the value, the intensity, how I want the colours to work with each other. Everything contributes to the story – every element is important to how it’s told.”
Brandon’s works, alongside works by Jasmin Niocle, Shadrack Abatan and Ehiko Odeh, are currently on display in the public outdoor exhibit by emerging local talent Young Artist Showcase, currently on display along the Richmond Green Heritage Walkway.
The show, part of the Black History Month programming in Richmond Hill, will be on display until February 28.
Brandon presented the idea for this exhibition to the city of Richmond Hill last year but due to timing and other considerations, it wasn’t a project the city could support at the time. Much to his surprise, he got a call back from the city a few months later saying the project was a go for 2022.
“Working with the city was amazing,” Brandon said. “Everything went so quickly and so well. The entire experience was great. Working with the other artists was fantastic. They were quick with sending their work, they were super responsive. We made some great relationships and I’m sure there will be some collaborations in the future.”
With this experience behind him, Brandon hopes to do more community projects like this in the city of Richmond Hill while he pursues his own artistic career.
“I hope to have my own show in the near future but this was such a fantastic experience and such an important step. I’d love to have a role in bringing more show, more culture to the city. This was a fantastic experience.”
To see more of Brandon’s work, please visit his website at:
Main image: Brandon Baghaee
Image row, from left: At the Park; For Better or For Worse?; Self Portrait of the Artist with Daisy’s Butt; Hershey and Froggy.