BRIAN ALFRED (b. 1974 in Pittsburgh, PA)
Brian Alfred lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Alfred received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1997 from Pennsylvania State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1999 from Yale University.
In his paintings, collages, and digital animations, Brian Alfred surveys the urban landscape and the barrage of sensory stimulation that confronts the contemporary individual on a daily basis. Particularly inspired by society’s obsession with the digital age, Alfred browses the Internet, watches a constant stream of news, scours photography, architecture, video games, cartoons, propaganda, and just about any available form of digital media to source material. Employing Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, the artist uses his computer as an artistic tool, along with an X-ACTO blade, tape, and a ruler, to manipulate found images. He creates collages and paintings by building them up, layer by layer, with both clean, stenciled edges and loose transparent washes, to achieve a bold simplicity. He also uses the collages and digital drawings as a starting point for creating animations that he thinks of as moving paintings.
Understanding that a face or a building can be emblematic of much more, Alfred employs culturally relevant visual cues to propose the amorphous environment of contemporary culture. He cites everything from Exxon signs and celebrity faces to the sprawl of a city or a collection of wires and abandoned computers. Invoking an unsettling mixture of paranoia, danger, beauty, devastation, progress, and defeat in this post-industrial landscape, Alfred renders the ambiguous nature of the modern world.
Alferd has had numerous solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include “Techno Garden,” Maho Kubota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; “New Animations,” Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; “Beauty in Danger,” Salon 94 Video Wall, New York, NY; “It’s Already the End of the World,” Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville, TN; “Co-op,” Giraud Pissarro Ségalot, New York, NY; “Rise Above,” Haunch of Venison, London, England; “It’s Already the End of the World,” Haunch of Venison, New York, NY; “Majic Window,” Studio La Città, Verona, Italy; “Millions Now Living Will Never Die!!!,” Haunch of Venison, Berlin, Germany; “Global Warmings,” SCAI the Bathhouse, Tokyo, Japan; “Surveillance,” Haunch of Venison, Zurich, Switzerland; and “Space is the Place!,” Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY;
Recent group exhibitions include “Belief in Giants,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “The Frame,” Samsung Art TV, Samsung, USA; “Like Oxygen,” Mountain Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; “Room with a His work may be found in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Cleveland Clinic Art Foundation Program, Lyndhurst, OH; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Musuem of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Phoenix Museum of Art, Phoenix, AZ; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; University Museum of COntemporary Art, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA; Wellmark BlueCross Blue Shield Corporate Art Collection, Des Moines, IA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
Alfred is the recipient of the Pennsylvania State University College of Art & Architecture Faculty Research Grant, the Pennsylvania State University Institute for the Arts and Humanities Grant, the Jerome Foundation Film Video and Digital Production Grant, the Carriage House Arts Residency in Islip, NY, the Excellence Award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Japan Media Arts Festival, Pennsylvania State University Alumni Achievement Award, Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, Pennsylvania State University Alumni Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Inspiration Award, Phelps Berdan Memorial Award, Skowhegan Match Scholarship, and the Edwin Zoller Scholarship.