All posts tagged: Brian Adam Douglas

Heads Up! Swoon Says You Will Die

New show by Mike Snelle is about death, and Swoon Carves a Human Skull

Memento Mori in Latin translates as ‘remember that you will die’

Street Artist Swoon spoke to us yesterday about the 18th century skull of a woman that she spent weeks carving for a new show of Memento Mori inspired art for the Museum of Curiousity. Gallery owner Mike Snelle has transferred Black Rat Projects and is now dedicating his time to this curious effort, one which Swoon says has captured his attention for a while.

“Mike set up the Memento Mori show because he has kind of long been obsessed with how people reckon with their own mortality,” Swoon explains in her Brooklyn studio, “He studied philosophy at Cambridge partly out of an obsession with all of these kinds of questions like, ‘how do we die?’.”

In fact Memento Mori refers to a number of traditions throughout many cultures (German, Victorian, Mexican, Tibetan, others) of examining death and its role in our lives. The new group show is perhaps a more frank look at death than some of the traditions – but even those contain elements of light-hearted humor, so that may be an incorrect characterization.

Swoon. “A Slender Thread” Hand carved human skull, Book, Paper Cut Outs, Pill Bottle. (photo courtesy © Museum of Curiosity)

“It’s about wonder,” explains Mike as he speaks about the dream reliquary sculpture Swoon spent a week installing, “This exhibition mixes historical objects with contemporary interpretations of the theme and brings together an extraordinary selections of artworks.” Later he rattles off a list of other curiousities guests will see that include a hippo skull, a taxidermied ostrich from 1785, and paintings and carved human skulls commissioned specifically for the show.

And what about Swoon’s new contribution, a carved skull design that includes a symbolic birthing and her distinctive hand designs emanating from the natural lines and curvature of the cranium?

“I was wondering ‘what subject matter is befitting of this, something of this gravity?’ ,” she says of the carving project on this skull that came from a trader of artifacts who assured her of its rightful origins,  “So I thought about it and I thought that the only thing that seemed to make sense was to draw a birthing scene. So I ended up doing the birthing scene and then created a lot of patterns around it.”

The Connor Brothers take a decidedly humorous and ironic approach to the Grim Reaper. “Death Calls” Acrylic on canvas. (photo courtesy © Museum of Curiosities)

While she was deeply interested in the project and is gratified with the results, she felt a certain sense of weight was upon her during the experience – partially because of the subject matter and partially because of her own examination of mortality, her family, her experiences. Naturally all of these elements contributed to the outcome, including the choice of the accompanying book and medicine bottle that she chose to adorn and serve as foundation for the skull.

“I really felt that I was re-sacrifying the remain. It was already in a museum. That was why I thought long and hard about what kind of a scene could really be equal to the subject matter, because you don’t feel like it is something that you can do casually. So one of the German traditions is that they often put it on a Bible. But at the time I was carving it I was looking at my bookshelf and I took down a book that is called “The Slender Thread”. It is about a woman who worked on a suicide hotline and about her experiences with trying to talk people down from suicidality,” she says as describes the serious considerations that went into her choices.

“I was thinking about this woman’s work and about my own thoughts about mortality and people’s relationship to that in their own life and so that became the book that I used.”

Dr. Viktor Schroeder Memento Mori With Heilige Schrift, 2013. Cast human skull, 19th Century Bible, Victorian syringe and pocket watch , taxidermy butterfly. (photo courtesy © Museum of Curiosity)

Brooklyn Street Art: That is some powerful imagery and symbolism that you chose to work with. What did it feel like – what kind of relationship did you have to the skull over this period of time?  What was it like to let go of it?
Swoon: I was really glad. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t an easy piece, you know? It felt like there was a heaviness that is not present in almost any other work that I have done and I was glad to be done with it. Like I said, you chose to be in the process of contemplating mortality and this has been tied into my own process of trying to understand.

In all creative endeavors there is a certain amount of anthropological and historical at play and Memento Mori may be more so, even as it sometimes includes humor by way of  bringing to the fore a topic that many modern Western cultures find difficult to grapple with.

“It is a really respectful treatment of the subject,” says Swoon of her contribution, “ and it is out of a serious inquiry.”

 

From the Dance of Death by Michael Wolgemut (1493)

18th Century Memento Mori, Carved Human skull. (photo courtesy of Museum of Curiousity)

Artists exhibited for Memento Mori include:

Butch Anthony, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mat Chivers, Darren Coffield, The Connor Brothers, Nancy Fouts, Tom Gallant, Keaton Henson, Heretic, Saira Hunjan, James Lavelle, Michal Ohana-Cole, Marcos Raya, Dr. Viktor Schroeder, Jim Skull, Paul Stephenson, Kai & Sunny, Swoon, Ian Wilkinson,  Brian Adam Douglas and AVM Curiosities.

Memento Mori Opens on May 17th and continues until June 20th. 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London.

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

Please follow and like us:
Read more

The Museum of Curiosities Presents: “Memento Mori” (London, UK)

Memento Mori explores the most universal of subject matters: death, and brings together both historical and contemporary artworks which ask the viewer to contemplate their own mortality.

‘Memento Mori’ translates as ‘Remember you die’ and is said to originate in Ancient Rome where a general was parading through the city celebrating success in battle. A slave stood behind him and it was his duty to remind the general that, although he was at the peak of his success, he was still a man and not a God. The slave is said to have whispered ‘Memento Mori.

This exhibition mixes historical objects with contemporary interpretations of the theme and brings together an extraordinary selections of artworks.  With works ranging from an 18th century Reliquary containing the hand of a saint, to paintings and carved human skulls commissioned specifically for the show, Memento Mori promises to be a wide ranging and rich exhibition on a universal theme.

Artists exhibited include:

Dr Viktor Schroeder                                                      The Connor Brothers

The Chapman Brothers                                                     

Swoon                                                                       

Nancy Fouts                                                                        Ian Wilkinson

Marcos Raya                                                                        Butch Anthony                                                                       

Tom Gallant                                                                        Natasha Marks

Matt Chivers                                                                       

Brian Adam Douglas

Plus a selection of historical objects.

Memento Mori Opens on May 17th and continues until June 20th. 15 Bateman

Street, Soho, London.

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Fun Friday 09.23.11

Fun-FridayWelcome to Fun Friday

1. Abstract Art on the Street
2. “Abstractions” open at Opera Gallery
3. “Contemporary Abstractions” at Mighty Tanaka
4. “Abstract Graffiti” – The Book
5. Art Show and Charity Auction at FUTURE TENSE (Dallas)
6. Please Support “Electric Projected” TODAY
7.MISSED the SHOW? See “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” in VIDEO
8. VIDEO -Street and fine Artist Peat Wollaeger
9. VIDEO Mr.Klevra Vs Omino71 – The Secret Spot 2011
10 VIDEO STEN & LEX at the ATTACK FESTIVAL 2011

“The more frightening the world becomes, the more art becomes abstract”~ Wassily Kandinsky

The street provides a forum from all dialogue and Street Artists can be sometimes divided into categories after you survey the expanse of expression. We’ve been tracking the geometry of  abstraction for the last decade as an aesthetic counterbalance to the more free form gestural markings that are it’s more prevalent neighbors.  The abstract direction continues to garner  attention and you can get a good look at it’s past and present at two New York shows opening today, and learn more about it’s global movement in a recently published book by Cedar Lewisohn.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-Kandinsky-Black-Violet-1923

“Black and Violet”, Kandinsky, 1923

“Abstractions” open at Opera Gallery

The Opera Gallery new show in Manhattan titled “Abstractions” opens today to the general public. This show will examine the abstract movement from the 1940s through present day with artists that range from Miro and Matta to Bast and Saber.

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-saber-opera-gallery

Image of Saber courtesy Opera Gallery

Abstractions will be open to the public starting on September 23 at 11:00 am
September 23 – October 16
Free admission: 11:00 – 7:00 daily

Opera Gallery
212.966.6675
Further information on this show please click on the link below:

“Contemporary Abstractions” at Mighty Tanaka

Mighty Tanaka Gallery in Brooklyn continues the theme with some names familiar to BSA readers and a couple of new talents at their show “Contemporary Abstractions” tonight, with the opening reception at their temporary location in  the Power House Arena in DUMBO starting at 6:00 pm.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-JMR_contemporary-abstractions-mighty-tanaka-sept2011

JMR image © Jaime Rojo

For more information regarding this show please click on the link below:

“Abstract Graffiti” – The Book

We’ve really been enjoying the schooling and the photography from Cedar Lewisohn in this new book “Abstract Graffiti” and can recommend it wholeheartedly. You’ll recognize a number of these artists from being on BSA, including MOMO on the back cover.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Abstract-Graffiti-Cedar-Lewisohn-2011

Art Show and Charity Auction at FUTURE TENSE (Dallas)

Saturday September 24 in Dallas, TX the Future Tense has curated and impressive line up of artists for a worthy cause. An Art Show and Charity Auction to benefit The MTV Staying Alive Foundation. Opening reception and live auction at the Goss-Michael Foundation starts at 7:00 PM.

brooklyn-street-art-mtv-redefine-future-tenseLee Baker, Shepard Fairey, Harland Miller, Adam Ball, Katrin Fridriks, Polly Morgan, Peter Blake, Christopher Gascoigne, Gerard Rancinan, Billy Childish, Pam Glew, Rankin, D*Face, Haroshi, Stuart Semple, Brian Adam Douglas, Pieter Henket, Jamel Shabazz, Elizabeth Eamer, Damien Hirst, Benjamin Shine, Ben Eine, Jeremy Kost, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Joseph Loughborough, Dan Witz, Faile, James Marshall and Russell Young.

For more information regarding this event please click on the link below:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=24739

Please Support “Electric Projected” TODAY

brooklyn-street-art-electric-projected-open-space-beacon

And our friends at Open Space in Beacon New York are seeking your help to save their project “Electric Projected: Reboot”

Dan and Kalene have been on the Street Art scene for a decade, have opened many doors to and championed Street Artists with their Electric Windows project. Today we are asking you to pledge their “Electric Projected: REBOOT” Kickstarter page. They got seriously rained out last month for this exciting project in Beacon, New York – a huge projection show on the side of a factory building. With your help, they are going to do it right next weekend.

brooklyn-street-art-open-space-gallery-beacon-new-york-electric-projected-reboot-Jared-Deal_Big-foot-web

Jared Deal projects Big Foot (photo still © Courtesy of the gallery)

Dan and Kalene say:

“We still need your help to make Electric Projected REBOOT a reality. Since our last email (only 5 days ago) we have received over $2500 in pledges to our kickstarter campaign. Over 100 people have already contributed to this campaign and we are so grateful for this generosity and support. Not a day goes by without people telling us how excited they are for the REBOOT event on October 1st. We are excited for it too, but here is the reality of the situation. If we do not meet our kickstarter funding goal by Saturday Sept 24th at 6pm  Electric Projected REBOOT will not happen on October 1st.

brooklyn-street-art-open-space-gallery-beacon-new-york-electric-projected-reboot-Aaron-Maurer-Paper-Monster-web

Aaron Maurer projects Paper Monster (photo still © Courtesy of the gallery)

Please hurry and pledge. They are almost there for their $16,500 goal and your donation will help them reach the finish line. They only have until tomorrow Saturday September 24 at 6:00 pm.

Please click on the link below to go to their Kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pilgrim/electric-projected-reboot

brooklyn-street-art-open-space-gallery-beacon-new-york-electric-projected-reboot-Jack-Myers_Elia-And-Cern-web

Jack Myeres projects Elia and Cern (photo still © Courtesy of the gallery)

MISSED the SHOW? See “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” in VIDEO

Fabio Cunha shot and edited a video at the opening of “Street Art Saved my Life: 39 New York Stories” in Venice, CA. All those cool LA people milling around … love love

PEAT Makes a VIDEO

Street and fine Artist Peat Wollaeger is out of work – a very modern affliction.

Mr.Klevra Vs Omino71 – The Secret Spot 2011

STEN & LEX at the ATTACK FESTIVAL 2011

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Future Tense Presents: “MTV Re:Define” Benefit Art Exhibition and Auction (Dallas, TX)

Future Tense
brooklyn-street-art-mtv-redefine-future-tense

The MTV Staying Alive Foundation today announced the final details of its RE:DEFINE benefit art exhibition and auction to mark the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the AIDS virus, including the full list of contributing artists. Event curators The Future Tense have assembled an eclectic roster of 30 original works valued at over $1m from some of the world’s most exciting, dynamic and sometimes controversial artists, including painting, photography, sculpture and a large-scale public installation in downtown Dallas by street artist Ben Eine. The 30 contributing artists are as follows:

Lee Baker, Shepard Fairey, Harland Miller, Adam Ball, Katrin Fridriks, Polly Morgan, Peter Blake, Christopher Gascoigne, Gerard Rancinan, Billy Childish, Pam Glew, Rankin, D*Face, Haroshi, Stuart Semple, Brian Adam Douglas, Pieter Henket, Jamel Shabazz, Elizabeth Eamer, Damien Hirst, Benjamin Shine, Ben Eine, Jeremy Kost, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Joseph Loughborough, Dan Witz, Faile, James Marshall and Russell Young.

Hosted at the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas, MTV RE:DEFINE will be open to the public from September 16 – 23 with a live auction of all 30 works taking place at an exclusive reception on September 24, hosted by Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, which encourages, energizes and empowers young people who are involved in HIV and AIDS awareness, education and prevention campaigns. Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company said, “Phillips de Pury is thrilled to support the fabulous initiative of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and of the Goss-Michael Foundation and The Future Tense.”

The evening will culminate in a live performance by alt-rock phenom, The Boxer Rebellion who are due to begin a major 22-date tour of North America in October to promote their latest album, The Cold Still. Tennessee-born Nathan Nicholson, lead vocalist for The Boxer Rebellion said, “The Boxer Rebellion are proud to support the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and feel privileged to play at this ground-breaking RE:DEFINE benefit event. We take our social responsibilities very seriously, and to be part of an event with such immense social and artistic merit – aimed at empowering young people all over the world to fight HIV and AIDS – is a real honor for us.”

Collectors unable to attend the event in person will have a wide range of absentee bidding options, including the ability to both view and bid in real-time, simultaneous with the live event via the following link:

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/26168

Full absentee bidding information can be found at: http://www.mtvredefine.com/absentee-bidding.php

The catalogue for the event can be found at: http://www.mtvredefine.com/catalogue.php

Sponsors of MTV RE:DEFINE include Moet & Chandon, The Dallas Morning News, Neiman Marcus, Hotel Zaza, Ben E. Keith Beverage Company, Land Rover/Range Rover of Dallas, RP Valet and Crazy Water.

For further information please visit the official website at www.mtvredefine.com You can also follow the project on Twitter via @mtvredefine and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mtvredefine

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Black Rat Projects Presents: Brian Adam Douglas AKA Elbow-Toe “Due Date” (London, UK)

Elbow Toe
brooklyn-street-art-brian-admas-douglas-Memory-of-you-high

Never seen in public before, Brian Adams Douglas’ new massive (5 x 7) and three months in the making painting “Memory of You” will be the central focus of his new solo show.

Elbow-Toe
brooklyn-street-art-elbow-toe-brian-adam-douglas-black-rat-projects
Brian Adam Douglas – Due Date
March 10 – April 8, 2011

Black Rat Projects
Through Cargo Garden
Arch 461, 83 Rivington Street
London EC2A 3AY
http://www.blackratprojects.com/

Black Rat Projects is pleased to present our next project with Brian Adam Douglas. Due Date, his first solo show in the UK, will be on view from March 10 – April 8, 2011. The opening will coincide with the launch of a book about his work, Paper Cuts, published by DRAGO.

Under the name Elbow Toe, Brooklyn based artist Brian Adam Douglas has been pasting his distinctive woodcuts, stencil work, large-scale charcoal drawings and collages onto the walls of cities all around the world throughout the past decade. His diverse practice is anchored by an interest in the human gesture as a powerful form of communication, one charged with unspoken narratives and he continually transforms public space into a stage for these private moments.  The scenes in his most recent body of work focus on the bewildering act of parenthood.  Just as he builds a finished image through the meticulous layering of tiny individual bits of coloured paper, so the meaning of the image is woven through layers of references to historically and culturally established narratives. This kind of intertextuality has become the foundation for the development of his distinctive style. The result is a sophisticated visual language where personal metaphors begin to communicate universal truths.

In Douglas’ work family life is a staged performance, animals are manifestations of human emotion, intense pattern breaks the jagged surface and functions like an ancient Epic storm: as his characters fight to find their balance the viewer holds their breath.

Artist’s Statement:

“For my first solo show in the UK, Due Date, I am exploring my preconceived notions of parenthood and the opportunities for growth that come through that process. I am presenting a series of narratives that flirt the line between fact and fiction; they are moments of autobiography that have been extrapolated to become allegories.  As an artist in the process of trying to become a parent and living in one of the most parent-centric sections of NYC, I am keenly aware of the mania that strikes at the heart of parents young and old. In these paintings I am addressing fears (loss of individuation as well as of the proverbial unknown), the strengthening of bonds in times of crisis, the issues of trying to become a parent later in life and the wisdom gained through the process of parenting.

The work is divided into two groups: a set of images on panels, and a set of images on paper. In the more fully realized works on panel, all the actions are taking place in staged environments. The elements surrounding the figures are merely cardboard props, strictly for the purpose of giving the action of the figures a point of reference. The action of the figures is the reality of the image, everything else is just window dressing. The paint drips and splashes act as abstract gestures clearing things away yet never managing to obscure the events occurring on the stage. In the works on paper, the events being described are contained in a sea of white. By the very nature of the presentation the gestures and relationships are isolated and distilled.

The current body of work builds upon a process of art making that I have been refining for several years. I refer to the work as paper paintings rather than as collage. I see each piece of paper as a brushstroke rather than as a juxtaposed idea. Each brushstroke is selected for it’s color, value and texture, rather than it’s imagery”. Brian Adams Douglas

To read BSA interview and studio visit with Elbow-Toe click on the link below:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=16421

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Happy New Year! BSA Highlights of 2010

Year-in-review-2010-header

As we start a new year, we say thank you for the last one.

And Thank You to the artists who shared their 11 Wishes for 2011 with Brooklyn Street Art; Conor Harrington, Eli Cook, Indigo, Gilf, Todd Mazer, Vasco Mucci, Kimberly Brooks, Rusty Rehl, Tip Toe, Samson, and Ludo. You each contributed a very cool gift to the BSA family, and we’re grateful.

We looked over the last year to take in all the great projects we were in and fascinating people we had the pleasure to work with. It was a helluva year, and please take a look at the highlights to get an idea what a rich cultural explosion we are all a part of at this moment.

The new year already has some amazing new opportunities to celebrate Street Art and artists. We are looking forward to meeting you and playing with you and working with you in 2011.

Specter does “Gentrification Series” © Jaime Rojo
NohJ Coley and Gaia © Jaime Rojo
Jef Aerosol’s tribute to Basquiat © Jaime Rojo
***

January

Imminent Disaster © Steven P. Harrington
Fauxreel (photo courtesy the artist)
Chris Stain at Brooklyn Bowl © Jaime Rojo

February

Various & Gould © Jaime Rojo
Anthony Lister on the street © Jaime Rojo
Trusto Corp was lovin it.

March

Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey © Jaime Rojo
BSA’s Auction for Free Arts NYC
Crotched objects began appearing on the street this year. © Jaime Rojo

April

BSA gets some walls for ROA © Jaime Rojo
Dolk at Brooklynite © Steven P. Harrington
BSA gets Ludo some action “Pretty Malevolence” © Jaime Rojo

May

The Crest Hardware Art Show © Jaime Rojo
NohJ Coley © Jaime Rojo
The Phun Phactory Reboot in Williamsburg © Steven P. Harrington

June

Sarah Palin by Billi Kid
Nick Walker with BSA in Brooklyn © Jaime Rojo
Judith Supine at “Shred” © Jaime Rojo

July

Interview with legend Futura © Jaime Rojo
Os Gemeos and Martha Cooper © Jaime Rojo
Skewville at Electric Windows © Jaime Rojo

August

Specter Spot-Jocks Shepard Fairey © Jaime Rojo
“Bienvenidos” campaign
Faile studio visit © Jaime Rojo

September

BSA participates and sponsors New York’s first “Nuit Blanche” © Jaime Rojo
JC2 © Jaime Rojo
How, Nosm, R. Robots © Jaime Rojo

October

Faile “Bedtime Stories” © Jaime Rojo
Judith Supine © Jaime Rojo
Photo © Roswitha Guillemin courtesy Galerie Itinerrance

November

H. Veng Smith © Jaime Rojo
Sure. Photo courtesy Faust
Kid Zoom © Jaime Rojo

December

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Warrington Museum and Art Gallery Presents: Brian Adams Douglas AKA Elbow-Toe “Due Date” (Warrington, UK)

After Goya
brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-toe-After-Goya

“After Goya” Brian Adam Douglas. Photo © Courtesy of the Artist

For my first solo show in the UK, Due Date, I am exploring my preconceived notions of parenthood and the opportunities for growth that come through that process. I am presenting a series of narratives that flirt the line between fact and fiction; they are moments of autobiography that have been extrapolated to become allegories. As an artist in the process of trying to become a parent and living in one of the most parent-centric sections of NYC, I am keenly aware of the mania that strikes at the heart of parents young and old. In these paintings I am addressing fears (loss of individuation as well as of the proverbial unknown), the strengthening of bonds in times of crisis, the issues of trying to become a parent later in life and the wisdom gained through the process of parenting.

The work is divided into two groups: a set of images on panels, and a set of images on paper. In the more fully realized works on panel, all the actions are taking place in staged environments. The elements surrounding the figures are merely cardboard props, strictly for the purpose of giving the action of the figures a point of reference. The action of the figures is the reality of the image, everything else is just window dressing. The paint drips and splashes act as abstract gestures clearing things away yet never managing to obscure the events occurring on the stage. In the works on paper, the events being described are contained in a sea of white. By the very nature of the presentation the gestures and relationships are isolated and distilled.

The current body of work builds upon a process of art making that I have been refining for several years. I refer to the work as paper paintings rather than as collage. I see each piece of paper as a brushstroke rather than as a juxtaposed idea. Each brushstroke is selected for it’s color, value and texture, rather than it’s imagery.

“Due Date”
December 4, 2010 – February 19, 2011
Warrington Museum
Museum St
Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1JB, United Kingdom

http://museum.warrington.gov.uk/

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Brian Adam Douglas AKA Elbow-Toe : Inside Out

Brian Adam Douglas AKA Elbow-Toe : Inside Out

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-TITLE-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-17

Brian Adam Douglas née Elbow-Toe stands inside looking out a third floor Brooklyn window down the block as late autumn winds whip and churn leaves and debris across the sidewalk, blowing lids off garbage cans and a Yankees cap off a bike messenger.  At his feet and all over the blond hardwood floor behind him are scattered piles of loose ArtForum pages; poked, pocked and carved with a sharp blade to cull their very particular hues.

“There’s a certain amount of chaos but I know where everything is. This is the brown palette, right? This is all browns. This is greys, oranges, violets, blues, yellows, greens. I use that palette (pointing) – I have that set up. That’s how I learned how to paint – with that particular palette. The chromatic values are laid out in a grayscale value,” says the artist as he explains the disarray.
Brooklyn Street Art: I don’t know what that means.
Brian Adam Douglas: So basically the color goes from white to black. If you were to take a black and white photo of this right now, you would see. That yellow would be a real light grey, and it works it’s way down to black.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-15Photo © Jaime Rojo

His Street Art peers a few blocks from here, the Brooklyn Street Art collective Faile, have been exploring a new technique this year they call wood painting; not quite collage, nor sculpture or painting. Since the leaves that are blowing outside these windows first began to bloom in March this year, Brian has been exploring another difficult to categorize method of “painting” by assembling thousands of custom cut pieces of paper to create nearly 20 new canvasses. Its a process he calls collaging, and it’s effect leaves viewers stupified.

Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve been doing status updates on your Facebook and Twitter feed forever saying that you are collaging.
Brian Adam Douglas: I know! (laughing) That’s all I’m doing man! I can’t wait to say, “Today I’m sleeping”.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-18

“Cocoons Come And Cocoons Go. It’s The Transformation That’s Key”. Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-12

Sketch for “Cocoons…” Photo © Jaime Rojo

Technically, yes, they are collage; a composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface. But it’s so easy to miss this obvious fact as you look at the painterly forms, their musculature, expression, gesture and puzzling symbolism. Each one of these new pieces fits somehow into an overriding theme that revealed itself to the artist only while Douglas labored. Surprising even the author, it took his wife and friends sometimes to help him see what was right in front of his exacting scalpel; through dream inflected symbolism he has unwittingly written a treatise about family, parenthood, and how they profoundly impact the formation of character. Without intending to, his inner world pushed it’s way to the outside, where he will be displaying this new powerfully personal collection December 4th at The Warrington Museum of Art in England with a show called “Due Date”, followed by a March show at Black Rat Projects.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-8“Knitting Circle” Photo © Jaime Rojo

But the artist won’t reveal to you their exact meanings necessarily when you are standing with him looking at a new piece at the easel or laptop, throwing out possible interpretations. “This is what I enjoy,” he says a bit mischievously, “people bringing in their own sort of meaning into the pieces.” Other times he’ll gladly offer a backstory. Even then, you are left to your own observation skills to intuit the relative intensity of the symbolism.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-10“Knitting Circle” sketch Photo © Jaime Rojo

Brooklyn Street Art: How successful have you been at fielding questions on what these pieces are about?

Brian Adam Douglas: Pretty good. There are certain things within them that I don’t talk about. I mean I think that they are kind of universal enough that they could mean a number of things. As far as I’m concerned with the work, I’d rather people bring their own interpretations of the work in. Rather than me saying, “This is what this work is about, this is my idea and this is what it has to be,” I find the most interesting art becomes better when you make it personal.

Even so, some of these are quite unusual depictions to trust oneself to interpret accurately. We did take a few guesses, and with time Brian also decided to help us uncover the meanings in these new paper paintings. One thing is not nebulous; this methodical and meticulous cutting and pasting has taken over his imagination so much that he’s confident that he’ll be doing it for a long time.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you want to continue to explore this technique? Have you gotten tired of it? Is it still capturing your interest?
Brian Adam Douglas: As far as I’m concerned I understand the medium really well. Each piece builds confidence. Now I’ve got something and I want to really see what I can say with it. I’ve got so much inspiration about things that I want to really plump into that I want to figure out that I could do this for like 15 or 20 years.

And Street Art? What about the twisted forms and ephemeral poetic passages that put Elbow-Toe plainly on the public radar a handful of years ago? Now that he has a gallery presence, has he abandoned his street persona? “About the street stuff – I’ll do that but it will be purely for fun. An outlet, like it was at the beginning. It kind of became a pain a year or two in. It got very stressful for a while, it wasn’t fun anymore,” he says.

“Now that I’ve kind of got my ‘gallery voice’ I just want to have a street voice that is it’s own thing. – strictly for the street and completely ephemeral.

 

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-toe-After-Goya“After Goya”  photo © courtesy of  the Artist

Brian Adam Douglas: You get all this loaded meaning that’s happening behind it. The fire that’s happening in the backyard. This one is partly autobiographical of when I was a kid.
Brooklyn Street Art: The split-level ranch?
Brian Adam Douglas: Well, we didn’t live in one like that but I had to find a photo of the suburbs. It was wintertime, I was pretty young, maybe 12 or 13, and I was playing around with my paper airplanes. I had this great idea – I can light these on fire and it will look like World War II planes coming down crashing. Right? And I had the hope that they would burn up before they hit the ground. It’s winter time. Texas. I light this thing on fire and throw it and it’s one of those trick planes. Instead of curving up and flying it goes down into my yard. I see it land and it is like, “Floom!” – the ring of fire is running across my yard.
Brooklyn Street Art: And that’s how you burned down your house and killed your parents?
Brian Adam Douglas: Yeah, exactly! No. This piece is all about the fact that your kid is going to f*ck up a lot. But as a parent, the kid gives you that look and you are going to be like, “Oh, right, it’s okay” Like you still love them regardless the insanity they can produce.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-9The sketch for “After Goya” photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-toe“The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” photo © courtesy of the Artist

Brooklyn Street Art: Ha! Now that seems like a metaphor, doesn’t it?
Brian Adam Douglas:
Yeah, but also it comes from life. My Dad is a landscaper and one day when I was in high school he was up in a tree and he’s got the chain saw and he cuts the branch off. He’s so busy in the tree – he’s like “zhrooom!, Vrooooooom!” And he’s like 30 feet up! And so he’s falling, with this chain saw going in one hand as he’s failing. He grabs a branch as he’s falling and he’s hanging there swinging. He drops the chainsaw. Then he climbs down the tree. This is so….. I can imagine that moment when you find out you are going to be a parent and you are like, “Fuck! Everything is changing”. In order to take care of something else you are having to let a lot of other things go, and adapt. You are pruning things in your life. Certain things are taking precedence that maybe didn’t before.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-toe-Sweet-Dreams

“Sweet Dreams” photo © courtesy of the Artist

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-toe-tradition“Tradition” photo © courtesy of the Artist

Brian Adam Douglas: This one is called “Tradition”
Brooklyn Street Art: So the elders are in a supportive pose.
Brian Adam Douglas: Yeah
Brooklyn Street Art: And there is a lantern and a nest on your head?
Brian Adam Douglas: On my head. Yes.
Brooklyn Street Art: Well I like the body language of the guy in the middle. I suppose that could be a father figure.
Brian Adam Douglas: Yeah.
Brooklyn Street Art: It’s supportive, but directional also. With intent.
Brian Adam Douglas: Yeah.
Brooklyn Street Art: Wow, that says a lot of love there. That’s very nice.

brooklyn-street-art-brian-adam-douglas-elbow-tow-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-13Sketch for “Tradition” photo © Jaime Rojo

BSA…………………BSA…………………BSA…………………BSA…………………BSA…………………BSA…………………

Brian Adam Douglas will be showing these pieces and more beginning December 4, 2010 at The Warrington Museum of Art . He is currently preparing for his solo show at Black Rat Projects in March 2011

To see more images for “Due Date” visit the artist’s web site at:

http://www.elbow-toe.com/studio.html

“Due Date”
December 4, 2010 – February 19, 2011
Warrington Museum
Museum St
Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1JB, United Kingdom

http://museum.warrington.gov.uk/


Black Rat Projects
through Cargo Garden
Arch 461, 83 Rivington street
London EC2A 3AY

http://www.blackratprojects.com


Please follow and like us:
Read more

GAIA “The Reinvention of Nature” at Gallery Heist (SF)

gaia_poster_horizontal_2-01_web-1Gallery Heist is pleased to present The Reinvention of Nature, the San Francisco debut exhibition for Brooklyn/Baltimore based street artist GAIA. The Reinvention of Nature – Opening reception: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 7-11pm MAY 15 – MAY 31, 2010 Gaia is a Brooklyn and Baltimore based street artist with a background in Printmaking and Sculpture. He is currently enrolled in his final year at MICA (Maryland Institute of Art) with a major in interdisciplinary sculpture. At the age of 21 Gaia has built an impressive resume having exhibited in art fairs and galleries through out Brooklyn, London, D.C, Miami and Los Angeles. His work has appeared along side street art contemporary geniuses such as Blek Le Rat, Shepard Farey, Swoon, Matt Small, D*face, Sweettoof, Brian Adam Douglas, Lucas Price, Nick Walker, Slinkachu, Imminent Disaster, EVOL, Pisa 73, Oliver Vernon, and Dalek just to name a few.

Marrying the animal and the human form, Gaia conjures mysterious figures that carry a heavy sense of mythology and recall a past when man and nature were once united. These romantic creatures stand in relief to the urban environment as they lurk and beckon in the city’s forgotten and neglected spaces. The conveyance of their story relies on the chance coincidence with a passerby, and even in that intimate moment, their narrative is precarious and delicate. Gaia works with linocut prints and painted images applied to paper and then mounted as paste ups on the street or on panels for finished works.

ABOUT THE GALLERY Art is an extension of our culture and our communities and in many ways art defines our times. Art is not a luxury it is a necessity. My mission is to foster innovative artistic expression and provide sanctuary for the creative process while stressing the importance of it. The walls of Heist will house work that is representational to this generation offering a contemporary program of artists who challenge and analyze our social and cultural responsibility, traditions, and behaviors; artists who are on the forefront of a conscious art movement. To encourage and support this conscious art movement, I have opened Heist and hope that you will choose to be a part of it. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12:00-8:00pm Mondays by appointment. Gallery Heist is located at 679 Geary Street near the corner of Leavenworth, southeast of the intersection.

Please follow and like us:
Read more