Two new works by abstract video artist Brian Bress are currently on view at Sidewalk Cinema at the Downtown intersection of Main and Dallas streets. Still Life (orange, blue) and Rickybird (mint, hot pink) 2017 are representative of Bress’ signature style, which melds painting, sculpture, and film technique. His films feature drawn or painted objects and figures covered in heavily painted costume that animate slowly as the video runs, with patterns and forms developing incrementally over the length of the work.
Brian Bress’ vision of painting with film, and bringing new dimensions to traditional mediums, make viewing his work a unique experience. His installation is on view until October 2017 at Sidewalk Cinema, a part of Art Blocks at Main Street Square, 1111 Main St. at Dallas. Sidewalk Cinema is in partnership with Aurora Picture Show and the Weingarten Art Group.
Bress reveals more about his approach to creating his signature video work.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about what we’re seeing in these pieces?
Brian Bress: You’re seeing white costumes and backgrounds made in my studio and shot in my studio under lights with colored gels. The figure inside the costume is rotating slowly on a moving pedestal. The figure is also moving slowly.
Q: Is there a narrative in these pieces? What are their stories?
Brian Bress: There isn’t a specific narrative. I’m not setting out to tell a story. But I do think of the works as the personification of abstraction and in such I think they have personalities of their own.
Q: We’ve heard you like to explore the connections between video and painting. How do you paint with film?
Brian Bress: Yes. That’s true, I do explore the connection between video and painting. I try to use the screen we can tap with our fingers as a proxy for the canvas an artist can mark with a brush or a pencil. And the way I like to help push those connections is by making physical objects in my studio that often have paint on them and in that way getting at that sense of the texture of the medium of painting within the space of the video screen that lies on and beneath the picture plane.
Q: How do you like the sidewalk cinema installation? Do you think your pieces work well in this environment?
Brian Bress: I like the installation a lot because it’s a chance for folks to experience art in a place they might not expect it.
Q: What do you hope people walking by will take away after they see your pieces?
Brian Bress: At a minimum, I hope they’ll see something they haven’t seen before in a place they didn’t expect to see it. And if they like what they see perhaps they feel the joy that I feel when I see art that makes me wonder and imagine. Yeah, that’d be a good take away.