Brian Butler’s new work distills the culture, legend and folklore of Cape Cod into a series of illustrated vignettes. This exhibition is part of a larger focus on regional identity, his “roadside works”.

In the case of this exhibition, Butler’s choice in subject matter, which is often cloaked in some visual pun, was deeply sentimental. He was raised nearby, and spent a significant amount of time in the Cape, learning its quirks by watching its identity shift throughout the seasons. Winters in cold solitude, mixed with rich sun-filled summers, that are driven by tourist activity. The collection of 26 images is by no means comprehensive, they are meant to be a jumping off point for further exploration.

The sub-context of this exhibition is a reckoning with the the loss of his father. One key image depicts the Birdwatcher’s General Store logo. A business that naturally sells birding goods, that Butler would frequent regularly with his family. In this image the logo was adapted to look like his father using his actual slide film camera. Below the image, is a modest presentation of enlargements from his dads wildlife photography portfolio. Along the opposite wall, the gallery is embellished with natural curiosities collected by his father. Among the rocks and shells, a cartoony clam with bubble gum eyes glances from below a glass specimen dome. The jokes are not lost in the sentimental.

Odd Cod: An Illustrated Tribute to Cape Culture Rugosa Gallery in Eastham, MA August 2022
Available works: Rugosa Gallery Website