Given the option, Brian Butler would rather use a map than be led by a GPS. Granted maps can be misread, and on occasion even incomplete; they can rip, they can stain, they can even be misplaced. But that only opens up entirely new routes, routes that may just lead to happy accidents. And happy accidents are a helluva lot more fun than Going Places Safely.
It takes but one look at the wily and whimsical creations contained in “Get Lost” to see that fun is a primary component of everything Butler does. The full-on solo show opens at Product/81 on June 9 and is fueled by Fordistas, a platform for emerging local artists powered by South Florida Ford. It includes everything from a series of merrily-flavored Ice Cream People to an enjoyably-playable putt-putt golf hole, replete with replica tee-pee. There are occasional paintings that burst with hypercolor, sporadic wall sculptures that embrace the sublime, and a small onslaught of peeper-peeking hole creatures which will make you wary of what comes out at night. It’s the fun-house equivalent of an art show; if, that is, said art show had been informed by the nation’s crop of miniature golf courses.
Indeed Butler, a Mass Art grad who majored in miniature golf (really), knows America’s putt-putt courses like he knows the proverbial back of his hand. He knows their allure, he knows their history, and — yes — he knows their locations. While maps were employed to make his way to most, many of ‘em were stumbled upon after a missed exit or a wrong turn. It is those courses — the ones that were discovered by happy accident — that Butler most fondly recalls, and those he most implicitly celebrates in “Get Lost”, an exhibition which will take you at once outta your way-out way and right where you belong.
Brian Butler’s “Get Lost” opens Second Saturday June 9, 7pm at Product/81 2311 NW 2nd Ave Wynwood