"I want you to get lost in my work." - Brian Bailey
Brian Bailey combines a concentration of mark making with an authoritative development of space. For many artists, focusing on surface comes at the expense of depth in the realization of realistic space, but Bailey’s subjects are traditional. The viewer’s awareness of the rigorous application of each brush stroke is but an introduction to the image, one that draws you in to place and atmosphere through texture and composition.
Bailey describes himself as, “first and foremost a landscape painter, although it isn't unheard of for me to crank out a portrait or three. I work exclusively with oil paint. I just love the malleability of it, the fluidity. It can be reworked over and over again. In college, that's where the love affair began with this medium.”
“And with Gustav Klimt. his erotica, his portraiture, his obsessive compulsion to fill the canvas with pattern, both organic and geometric. However. the first time I laid eyes on his landscapes, I was immediately intrigued. Depictions of the physical world seen through his eyes are almost reduced to abstraction. I try to emulate his style in the juxtaposition of various blocks, blobs, or blots of color to create a unifying whole. I've been accused of having a ‘talent for the tedious', though in the best way. I want you to get lost in my work."
That tedium of application that Bailey refers to gives a foundation to his work that sets him apart from other landscape artists. To paint nature is to connect with the environment in a meaningful way, and the pattern that Bailey is imposing finds a relationship in the constant and deeply layered reoccurrence of pattern in nature. In “King Tobacco” our eye falls from the clear blue sky, over distant trees and a vast field of plants, until it lands on the details of smaller plants and wild grass on the edge of the crop, an inexorable pull into the smaller and smaller biology that lies beneath. Bailey understanding of this inherent quality is so comprehensive, one wonders if Bailey has studied nature at a microscopic level.
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Education: BFA, The Ohio State University
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.