"War on Religion" was created over a period of years (1990 -1992) by Brandon Paris. The Cross is broken and bleeding, with a skeletal arm and hand that is impaled by a rusty nail protruding from an arm of the cross holding a white plumb. This plumb is suspended over a blood drenched globe and the bent end of the plumb points directly to the middle east, a place deeply rooted in religion and its many struggles.
A very timely piece then, and now......
Brandon Paris had a studio in 1989 at the Broker’s Art Studio Building on Market Street, San Diego, Ca. where he had his studio on the 3rd floor. Brandon was about 30 years old at this time, and working on metal sculptures with varying political and social themes. He was a strong advocate of social change with regards to how society viewed both men and women. Brandon frequently donned women’s clothes, preferring a black lace skirt, black long shirt, large brimmed hat and granny shoes. When asked why he chose his attire, he would respond that it was unfair that men were destined to only wear pants, and that this limited their expressions of style.
About a year later Brandon opened a studio on 6th Ave downtown San Diego. The studio was called Enigma Studio. It is here where Brandon focused on honing his skills in working with metal sculpture and created such pieces as “Season of the Bitch, and homage to a woman’s cycle”, “The End” and “Fascination", also known as" Yellow River” and many pieces featuring a cross; either broken, scarred, or upside down. Brandon would bend the steal bars with his bare hands and used a variety of materials to produce the desired textures of his pieces like “Born again or the Afterbirth” which was featured in a one man show at BB La Femme Gallery in downtown San Diego in 1991. Brandon also had an extraordinarily timely piece both then and now entitled “War on Religion” featured in the 1994 collectors’ choice show at the Paladion.
Brandon was a premier car painter by profession and worked on exclusive antique, luxury and classic cars and was thought to be one of the best in the business. He used his knowledge of how car paint works to stretch the boundaries of use and create colors, patterns and drips on aluminum and steel that could rival any fine art oil painter. On many of his pieces Brandon would coat his sculpture with up to 20 layers of clear lacquer to create a mirror like shine that brought a luminescent beauty to the surfaces.
Brandon was someone who sought to get a reaction through a certain shock value in the subject matter, title and presentation of his pieces. But he was a vehement supporter of women’s rights and strongly opposed to violence against women and corruption in gov’t or religion. Brandon Paris chose not to fit into the rigors society demands, yet demanded excellence from himself when expressing his feelings in art.