I make a variety of artwork, including paintings, works on paper, and mixed media hand-painted assemblages. I paint primarily with acrylics using a combination of airbrushing and traditional paintbrush techniques. I like to give my pieces an aged or antiqued feel and often layer paints and plasters to achieve the look of rusting, weathered metal. People often ask if my work involves any photography and the answer is “no”; the imagery in my artwork is all painted by hand.
My mixed media work, such as that of my Time Machines series, merges painting with the art of assemblage. The pieces, at their core, are paintings on canvas, masonite, or other surfaces I construct by hand. Then, at various stages of creating each one, I integrate one-of-a-kind antique or vintage parts, such as handles, gauges, and pulleys, as well as other 3-dimensional objects. I often use salvaged materials, including leather I mold into curved shapes, discarded wood I construct into frames, and other “recycled” objects found in the alley behind my studio. Many pieces also include new materials, like pipes, tubing, metal, or hand-carved wood, that I’ve painted and treated to look old.
With my work, I am exploring the theme of perception and how what we perceive may not always be what is there in reality. My work is based on the ancient “trompe l’oeil” technique (meaning, “to fool the eye”) that was used by the Greeks and Romans to visually create space where there is none. Traditionally, a window would be painted to create the illusion of space and I got the idea to further obscure the line between two- and three-dimensional perception by adding real objects to the painted imagery. I strive to create a seamless flow between the paint and objects, drawing the viewer in for a closer look to see what is real and what is painted.
On another level, I want my work to capture the feeling of glimpsing into a another dimension or time. I often juxtapose surreal or mechanical elements with an aged texture and antique parts to recall different time periods within a single piece. I have also been continually drawn to the imagery of the seascape, for it’s timeless quality that could be from the past, present, or future. With many pieces, I try to evoke the nostalgia of a past era and, in particular, I am inspired by the aesthetics of the Art Nouveau movement (1890-1910). In fact, I make many of my “machines” to look like found artifacts from the turn-of-the-century and some pay homage specifically to the Columbian Exposition of 1893, which took place in Chicago and is commonly referred to as “The White City”.
In addition to my assemblage-oriented art, I create traditional paintings and drawings, inspired by many of the same concepts that inform my mixed media work. I also like to make works on paper that look like aged, archived fragments peering into another space or time.
ABOUT JASON BRAMMER
Jason Brammer is a visual artist, painter, and muralist based in Chicago, Illinois. He has painted and drawn since childhood and has been a full-time professional artist for over ten years. Brammer’s work has been featured in numerous local and national art exhibitions and is in private collections across the country. He is also known for his commissioned work, such as site-specific installations, custom paintings, murals, album artwork, band posters, and more. Some of his most recent commissions include a large-scale public mural for the city of Chicago in Rogers Park, an installation for social networking company LinkedIn, and concert posters for the bands My Morning Jacket as well as Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy.
Brammer was born in Lancaster, Ohio in 1974 and grew up primarily in Indianapolis, Indiana. His formal art education includes studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia and at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. You can learn more about Jason Brammer at jasonbrammer.com.
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