"Shirts Vs Skins – Curveball"
Brandt Eisner

This exhibit includes pieces which were a part of my first ‘Shirts Vs Skins’ show at Swoon Fine Art & Antiques in 2013. Since that time, I have continued to work on this theme.

‘Shirts Vs Skins’ questions the ideologies of masculinity, and how our identities are formed through cultural norms. It tackles fears about fitting in, and the expectations of those around us.   

The work highlights the struggles of being young and being squeezed into a box that doesn’t quite fit, and challenges the religion of competitive sport. 

‘Shirts Vs Skins’ attempts to acknowledge those who have hidden in the shadows in order to feel safe, and those who have been brave enough to come out and risk it all. 

“Thoughtful but diverse, Eisner’s work makes me think of Kent Monkman, although this work is very different. While I say this, I’m thinking about not only the floral athletic cup, but also the hand print on the basketball – as though just touching something would make it “gay”. If the colours were any darker, it would be akin to depressing  1980’s work, but the colours point out a strange sadness of being gay (and especially not “butch”), and growing up in certain scenarios that feel oppressive. I look at it as celebrating weirdness and isolation as being a strength.”  -Trevor Van den Eijnden, Artist, and Visual Arts Program Head at the Visual College of Art and Design Vancouver

This is not the end of ‘Shirts Vs Skins’. I will continue to expand this body of work, and sometime in the future, there will be a third instalment of this show.

   -- Brandt Eisner

About Brandt...

Growing up in a small community on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, I began creating works of ‘Assemblage’. At the time, I didn’t know that was what I was making, but after being informed that I was creating art by local artist friends, I was encouraged to continue creating and showing my work.

At the age of eighteen, I opened my first business, ‘Mum n Sun Garden Gallery’. Mum n Sun featured services in landscaping and floral design, while offering goods ranging from bedding plants to art, craft, antiques and collectibles. 

Five years later, after closing Mum n Sun, I moved to Lower Sackville, NS. For two years, I worked in group homes for developmentally challenged adults. Although this was extremely rewarding, the art world was calling. With much encouragement from friends and family, I applied to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). I graduated in 2005, with a BFA (Interdisciplinary), with a focus on Sculpture.

I worked for five years at Argyle Fine Art in Halifax NS, where I eventually became Assistant Director. Although this was a great learning experience, on October 22, 2010, I opened Swoon Fine Art & Antiques on Hammonds Plains Road, Halifax NS. In 2015, Swoon closed its brick and mortar location, becoming an online and pop-up gallery.

Aside from curating the art shows at NovelTea Café & Bookstore in Truro NS, I am primarily focused on my own art practice.