Monday, March 5, 2012

Michael Brennan








Where do you live?
Brooklyn, New York

What are 5 words that describe your working process?
knife, incised, grisaille, shadowy, graphic 

Is your studio located at home or away? And why?
At home, downstairs. I keep odd hours and I like to paint when the mood strikes. When my studio was separate, I found it frustrating because I often had my best ideas or solutions while walking home late at night, and then I would calculate how many hours I had before I could return.

What is the most important, yet underutilized tool in your studio? And why?
I have a small carpenter's square to make sure the joints of my stretchers are fixed at right angles, which I think is important to my work, and yet I seldom take it out of the drawer, choosing to judge by eye alone instead.

When in your studio, what are you listening to?
I listen to baseball during the season. I'm a Mets fan so I often stop listening some time mid-August. I listen to NPR, but the news has been so awful lately, I'm trying to cut down to maintain my mental equilibrium. I listen to WFMU, free-form radio, late at night and on weekends. Lately, I've been listening to old live recordings of Sonic Youth and I'm hearing a lot more Neil Young in their music than I remember. I only listen to the radio while I'm doing mundane things like stretching, priming, sanding. When I'm actively in a painting I don't listen to anything external anymore.

Any upcoming projects where we can see your work in person?
I think I'll be having a one person show at Minus Space in 2018.

Where can people see more of your work online?
I post my most recent work on www.michaeljamesbrennan.com, and I have an archive/image dump on Tumblr called "I have always lived in the castle" that has most everything I've made in the past five years.

What advice would you give to a young art student still in school or just out? 
I think it's important to work according to the reality of your situation--maintain a sustainable practice, put all fantasy aside. I would advise younger artists to focus on non-profits and spaces for emerging artists at first. They're often as competitive as commercial galleries, but many programs are unavailable to an artist as soon as they are affiliated with a gallery. Many of these spaces have their own clientele, dealers often trowel them for new talent, and these organizations will often invite you back, once you've shown with them, year after year, for fundraisers, etc., and for "White Room" (in the case of WhiteColumns) kinds of shows. I've seen many stalled careers turn around from a White Room show. White Columns is in NYC, but most metropolitan areas have some kind of community art center that plays a similar role. From the business side of things, all young people need to know about compounding interest and the Rule of 72--that can make any artist's life much easier in the long term, and I consider being an artist a long term activity. I recommend traveling too, before one's life has too much weight. It's often affordable, and it's one of the most rewarding things an artist can do. I like it when young artists create their own scene, everyone goes further faster from the beginning that way--something like Topless in Far Rockaway is recent example of this.


































































 
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I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood.
A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddic

k Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
I strive to find clarity and resolution in line, color, and form, while challenging viewers' perceptions of surface and space through simple, precise gestures on wood. A largely self-taught artist, Kirkland has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Richmond, VA, in addition to many curated group exhibitions across the country.  In 2012, Kirkland was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the amount of $8,000. In January 2010, he was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.  Kirkland was awarded the Robert Riddick Memorial Award from the Rawls Museum, selected twice as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, and won a Cummings MFA Grant.  His work was acquired by the University of Kentucky Art Museum for their permanent collection.  In addition to his studio practice, Kirkland has curated numerous exhibitions, published art criticism, and served as Director of Exhibitions for a contemporary art gallery in Washington, D.C.   
     
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...up, down, turn around, please don't let me hit the ground