Friday, November 2, 2012

Daniel Brush

The portrait-of-the-artist-at-work (above) is from the recent New York Times profile of Daniel Brush (b. 1947), published to coincide with the opening of his retrospective at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. This famous shunner of publicity seems to be most famous for the work he does in gold, but many other methods and materials are used, as needed. He has never had assistants. He has never had a dealer or a gallery. His pieces typically require years to conceive and complete. Eventually, some are sold privately, to a small chosen group of clients. The chosen are those who convince the artist they will care for the pieces with sufficient love and warmth. 

"The intimate bond between Brush's creative and personal life is evident upon entering his Manhattan loft. The kitchen and dining area abut a well-equipped machine shop, while bedrooms peak out from behind a white gallery wall. The loft's dominant feature is the vast expanse of red maple floor, which serves a surprisingly key role in Brush's artistic process. Brush structures his day around repeated activities, a "ritual of ordinariness" including eating the same breakfast (Cheerios) and lunch (pea soup) and meticulously sweeping the floor for as much as two hours. This routine provides a reliable order, allowing for the free play of the artist's thoughts and obsessions. As Brush relates, "It's a simple formula: getting up, eating breakfast, sweeping the floor, and then somehow within that [structure] trying to express your lyricism, or your confusion, or your uneasiness." With a mind unhindered by practical concerns and cleansed through meditative sweeping, Brush is prepared to enter into a more receptive relationship with his materials."  – Suzanne Ramljak