Lotti’s longtime involvement with skateboarding, as a pro rider and later filmmaker, has allowed him to contextualize the shift of the skater from anti-establishment aggressor to one who is intimately connected to the urban landscape; fully aware and at peace with its oppression and its liberation.
Post-Impressionism/Impressionism is historicized as specifying the significance of the flaneur or the leisurely 19th century dandy strolling through the gentrified cafe-strewn boulevards of Paris. Which paved the path for the emergence of the Expressionists experimenting with wild colors, abstract form, and burlesque subculture as reactionary to the stuffiness of the Academy. The flaneur is one who reads the streets, and emerged in a time of rampant urbanization, industrialization, alienation, exteriority, and contestations of public space that have epitomized states of modernity. Likewise a skateboarder steeped in recreation and observation can be hypersensitive to the street as an aesthetic subject concerned with translating physicality, sensuality, visuality. Lotti uses the language of Expressionism and Impressionism to describe the fleeting, dynamic, and visceral experience of urban landscapes. In so doing, he proposes a perhaps unintentional, but novel assertion that these (now) dated practices of Impressionism and Expressionism are direct, intuitive responses to notions of movement, youth, presentness, vigor, subjectivity, and urbanity.
Brian Lotti was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1972 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He skateboarded professionally and is credited with inventing the “Bigspin” and a few other maneuvers. Brian graduated with a BA in Art from San Francisco State University in 1998 and moved to Northern California where he practiced landscape and portrait painting for several years. In 2004 Brian returned to Southern California to direct two films. 1stand Hope (2006), features a day of skateboarding throughout downtown Los Angeles. Free Pegasus (2008) charts an international cast of skateboarders meandering through the sun drenched streets of Barcelona, Spain. Brian currently spends his time working on landscape and figure paintings in and around his home neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles. HVW8 is hosting his first exhibition of oil paintings, color studies, and monotypes.