The image, the icon, the fleeting moments of memories, the abstraction of shape and line, all coalesce in the work by Brittan Aebischer. Focusing on the relativity of both the personal and shared memories, Brittan’s work utilises both assemblage techniques and mixed media on canvas to convey surreal and abstract picture-scapes; often depicting the nude form juxtaposed against ontological ruminations and distorted landscapes. Relying on the found object for direct inspirational links, each work created takes a life of its own in an often meandering and endless journey of color, texture, line, and abstraction. The object guides the artist through a journey, providing inspiration for the overall compositional structure. Brittan is a wanderer, often revealing literal and figurative objects found off the street, in book stores, in rubbish, or in his studio. It is this day-to-day process of collecting, thinking, and synthesising that brings light to Brittan’s technique of layering; each piece being constructed with at least 3 or more physical layers of canvas, paint, found objects, and ink. Though Brittan pre-determines the execution of each piece, the result is always unclear. Brittan states;
“The found object once placed within the composition, directly effects all the other elements within the piece. Inevitably, as each piece is added, it compounds the message and changes the direction of the work. Thus, I never know how the work will look in the end; that is a personal joy I have with my own practice.” Messy and yet controlled, Brittan’s picture making evokes a quiet uneasiness, often confronting the viewer with compounding questions that are unanswerable. It is Brittan’s belief that art should evoke the true nature of humanity through the revelation and confrontation that all humans are imperfect, inevitably pointing us to the fact that it is our imperfections that is what gives us beauty, nothing else.
Hailing from Boise, Idaho, Brittan Aebischer is an American mixed media artist, curator, and arts community leader who has been living and working in Shenzhen for almost eight years. Brittan holds a bachelor’s degree in art from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, with an emphasis in graphic design and fine art, and a Masters in Teaching from George Fox University of Newburg, Oregon, with a teaching certification in K-12 art. Originally moving to Shenzhen to work for Quality Schools International (QSI) as a middle school art teacher, Brittan quickly established himself both within QSI and the Shenzhen expat community as an artist, aesthetic consultant, curator and arts community leader. Upon leaving his final post at QSI to be a stay-at-home dad, Brittan further pursued his professional art career, while also founding and co-chairing an independent artist organisation, International Shenzhen Artist Forum. Connecting over 300 local and international artists, ISZAF was founded in the hopes to build and promote Shenzhen’s artist network, while providing viable opportunities for those artists to engage with the international and local community at large, enriching both the artists and the culture of Shenzhen. In addition to his personal artistic endeavours and ISZAF, Brittan is an accomplished musician, pseudo philosopher, and a purveyor of good conversation and thought.
* Above Image Credit: 2018 James Neuhalfen, Shenzhen, China