Originally from Chicago, Ed Brandt received a BA from Lewis University in 1994 concentrating in both fine art and graphic design. Upon graduation he began a career as a graphic designer, founding his own company five years later, serving clients from various industries nationwide. Pursuing his passion for education, Ed began teaching for The University of New Mexico’s Department of Continuing Education in 2011, allowing him to share with others what he has learned by instructing a variety of art, design, and technical courses. Returning to school to pursue a graduate degree in the fine arts, he received an MFA from UNM in 2017 with a focus in painting and drawing. Ed’s painted abstractions balance reductive formal directness with layered media and materials exploring perceptions of time, place, object, and experience. For over a decade he has participated in solo and group exhibitions. He is represented by Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When first observing my art, viewers are confronted with a simple aesthetic; direct and uncomplicated, composed of understated colors, lines, and geometry. These outward characteristics recall reductive geometric Modernist paintings, direct and formal in appearance. However, upon closer inspection of my work, surface qualities challenge this initial response and elicit questions of materiality, textural subtleties, and a patina that displays characteristics of sculpture and collage.
This balance of directness and intricacy form an explorative dialogue, one in which a viewer is engaged by the whole of the work and then drawn in through discovery. Employing abstracted references, my work shapes questions of time, place, and object. It is not a direct narrative, rather, it is one that speaks beyond immediate concerns. Because I prefer a quieter engagement, it allows viewers to acquaint themselves through visual discovery of intimate qualities that form questions of curiosity.
The visceral response of the viewer echoes emotive reactions that I experience when defining inspiration. My art is a reflection of the built environment and a nostalgic reference to landscapes; not in a pictorial sense, but rather in a recontextualized memory of places I have inhabited. Within my work I balance formal concerns while seeking out the sublime in the ordinary, objects overlooked, too mundane to be of importance. Through these observations I discover aesthetic values that are reflected in the content of my work. I invite viewers to appreciate compositions that engage in deeper inquiry and contemplation through personal discourse.
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Copyright © 2017 Ed Brandt. All rights reserved.