Interview with Jonh Brosio
q)Who are you? Where are you from and where do you live now?
a)Who am I?! Still trying to figure that one out. I was born in
q)What is it that you do? What media do you use?
a)I do just about everything but one day realized that life wasn't long enough for that so I stuck to oil painting - very traditional oil on canvas.
q)What do you think sets your work apart?
a)Not sure. I do recall when I kind of "gave up" on a few things and decided to just paint what I wanted to see. That is the secret. One cannot second guess their audience. It is most often a mistake to even try. You can dialogue with your audience because that is what you end up doing in any case. But my proclivities had me working with imagery that edges close to both life and death at the same time: tornadoes of course, dinosaurs, sharks, US military craft - things that are gorgeous in one way, deadly in the other. There is a lot of "definition" in what these objects represent, the degree to which they put us in our place and let us know how big or small we are.
q)How long have you been showing your work for? Did you have a “big break?”
a)One big break? I don't think so. As soon as I started showing my tornado paintings they sold rather well. But even some of the attention I originally sought was wary of my subject matter. I guess that can be a good sign too. But there is definitely quite a range of subject matter coming up. Stay tuned... :)
q)What are some things that have inspired you?
a)The power of nature, the cruelty of sadness, the need for noise to keep from thinking too much. As I get more mature these elements will hopefully become more palpable in the work. Right now it sometimes looks like a kind of goofy subject matter anchored in place with competent execution. I got that latter dynamic from Wayne Thiebaud, a very influential teacher of mine who would paint bright little toys out of a connection to more than was always depicted. A great little bright toy can be such a sad little miracle - something so optimistic in a world that always ends in stone cold death. I think he caught that.
q)What have you been working on recently?
a)My octopus on a house painting, called "Fatigue," is both recent and has become very popular. It set the tone for a departure from twisters although there are many of those in progress. I have started seeing more brides show up in my paintings too - not so much like "Fatherless Bride" but as close and distant figures in my scenery. There are some still lifes coming up too.
q)Do you listen to music while you create your work? If so, would you give some examples?
a)I enjoy film scores very much but Beethoven is a huge influence. There are few things as visual to me as his music. I'm not even sure of what I'm seeing but I sometimes almost feel as if I'm stealing from him. Lately I've gotten into more obscure, modern classical of the last 50 years or so.
q)Do you do work in any other media? Other projects not necessarily related to your main body of work?
a)My hobby is still mask making. It happens from time to time still but takes more effort than I have time to give in doing it right. I also write. I have a book I've completed but still poking away at it, making it better. Don't know if I'll do much with it but hopefully!
q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?
a)Be excited about showing the work but not excited about "the scene." Work, yes, to be accepted by your peers. Start of showing in a coffee shop or some place you enjoy - some place where your friends already go. Perhaps slightly "underprice" your pieces at first. Maybe. Understand that a gallery addresses your work as product, as whether or not they can sell it, not whether or not it is any good. And a lot of galleries, if they do sell your work, will ask more of you than you can produce. Be careful not to become an employee of the art market. DEFINITELY watch out for that. Art, if it is any good, results from a need to codify and reconcile your relationship to the world, to realize something for yourself - if you lose this intimate experience then you are done already. I have been lucky in working with some galleries that are run by good people but I have definitely run into rapacious types as well.
q)Do you have any upcoming exhibitions of your work that you can mention?
a)Right now I am building up work. A lot of work. I hope to be approaching galleries very soon with the results. In the meantime I am in group shows here and there.
q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?
a)My site is best: www.johnbrosio.com