Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brian David Downs - Painting/Drawing

B and C Symmetry Unite, Ink/Graphite/Acrylic on Archival Paper, 27inX80in, 2011
Brian David Downs

Brian David Downs
Everywhere, Minnesota
Website: profile:

Bio~ I am an artist who resides in Minnesota. I work between paintings and making show fliers for bands I know or enjoy.

Tiny Little Hands for Tiny Shrunken Heads #2 Ink/Graphite on Archival Paper
26inX20in, 2011

Tell me about your work. What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My body of work spans mainly from painting and drawing, but dabbles in video, photography, sculpture, music, and performance.

I just finished up a series of paintings of shrunken heads, titled "Tiny Little Hands for Tiny Shrunken Heads." The series tries to re-establish the living human of the shrunken heads from being simply soulless keepsakes. The paintings are done in a classical straight on portrait style, with source images ranging between pictures of shrunken heads and pictures of friends. The tiny old men braiding the hair in each painting....well...I'll leave that to the viewer.

I'm currently working on a series of self portraits, a new series of paintings based off of dreams I've had this year, a few portraits of friends, two comic series, Voytek's first 7' album art work, and constantly pumping out show fliers.

Collaboratively, I'm slowly putting together a zine with my friend Adam Slaybaugh, auditioning a few people to play music with, and recording music.

I wouldn't necessarily say that what I'm doing now is all that different from past projects, but as I change day to day, complete more pieces; I learn new techniques, define my pallet more, and have new ideas. Each piece is a new adventure and experience all together for me.

Tiny Little Hands for Tiny Shrunken Heads #1, Ink/Graphite on Archival Paper 26inX20in, 2011

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I would hope my art sticks in the viewers' heads....that it does its job of grabbing some attention, and not being overlooked like a painting at a commercial diner or eatery/ or an 80's cool jazz tune softly playing while grocery shopping. It would be nice to think that my work has allowed someone to gain a new perspective of the world or come closer to understanding mine, but more so, I simply hope they love it or hate it, luke warm reactions are boring.

I don't believe I have any grandiose statement to make with my art, but more so just hope to snap people out of the everyday life experience here and attempt to wake people out of the constant slumber of American life: helping them open their eyes and notice how bizarre and messed up the world we live in is and the rare fleeting moments of beauty.

Tiny Little Hands for Tiny Shrunken Heads #6 Ink/Graphite on Archival Paper
26inX20in, 2011

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Never stop drawing. - Gerald Smith (

Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
My works space is where ever my body or soul is residing at the moment. My creative process is using some sort of physical/manual dexterity to release what is rambling through my brain at any given moment.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Jesse Peterson (,
Jenny Peterson,
Bruce Tapola,
Gerald Smith (,
Justin Quinn,
Ben Henkelman,
Andrew Broder,
Skoal Kodiak (,
Caitlin Wignall,
Nashana Redding Tuomi,
Fatima Elfilali,
Robert Heid,
Chris Hill,

....I could go on forever, I really dig our great state's amount of quality artists.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
All over the Twin Cities, from places like Triple Rock Social Club, Turf Club, Club Gleb Bacon (aka Club Mxxxxxx), MIA, Walker, anywhere Art of This is putting a show on, First Avenue, Hymmie's Basement, Cheapo,...the list is endless for the cities. Franconia Sculpture Park I try to visit as often as possible, and The Gallery Vault in St. Cloud is a pretty awesome student run gallery.

Concert Fliers from first three months of 2011, Ink on Archival Paper, Assorted Sizes, 2011

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? (the messageboard/community there is beyond amazing and essential to kicking it in the twin cities)

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Soo Visual Arts Center Presents:

In Soo Local:
Don’t Make Me Care
Featuring work by: Brian David Downs and Jason and Jesse Pearson
Opening Reception Saturday September 15th, 2012 6-9PM
SooVac Gallery:

Prior info:
Exhibition Runs: September 15 – October 20, 2012I'm most recently working on two fliers for April 23rd, 2011, one show at 7th St. Entry featuring Red Pens and The Cloak Ox, and one show at Turf Club featuring Skoal Kodiak. I'm will be going between both shows, sure to be enjoying my head being shredded. Voytek's 7in will be coming out soon with a record release show most likely at The Hexagon, so that will be something no one should miss. There are a few painting shows in the works, but details are still being worked out.

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