To visit David Brown’s studio is to slip through
the looking glass into a magical space where ideas
and observation blend, becoming something marvelous
and new in the process.
From small drawings to large canvases, his imagery presents itself with a cohesive authority, resonating at once a childlike joy and an engineer’s exactitude. The encaustic paintings are the precognitive dreams of 20th century abstract expressionism: sharp-edged geometric shapes and lines float above translucent fields of gestural scribbles,
as if the artist’s conscious thoughts are clouds scudding above the surface of a boiling subconscious sea.
The monumental work is displayed alongside small collections of found items, from delicate crystals and battered pieces of wood to the wound-up innards of a baseball. These are sacred objects, and pair perfectly with the paintings which become stained-glass windows to an invisible temple of the mind.
Brown is an alchemist in the classical sense, using the furnace of the imagination to create gold from the humblest of materials. He invites us to share his secrets, even if he refrains from telling us exactly what they are.
Aaron Leighton, 2017
About David Brown
David Brown graduated from the Ontario College of Art
and Design University. He has a 30+ year
award-winning career in the international art
and design industry. Toronto’s Design Exchange honoured David when his work was included in
“Type Culture”, an exhibition of top designers chosen for their influence on Canadian Typography. David also taught Industrial Design at OCADU while operating a successful product design studio.
David’s abstract encaustic paintings and monotypes have been shown at numerous galleries and museums across the globe. Recently he mounted a solo exhibition at The Painting Center in Chelsea NYC. His paintings are held in private and corporate collections in North America, Europe, and Asia. The products he designed have been sold across North America, and his work has been published in books and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.
I approach the act of painting like a builder, using wax, spray paint, and print techniques to construct a
multi-layered, multi-sensory experience. I am interested in observing, collecting, and reflecting the visual cacophony
of metropolitan life.
Encaustic paint has become an integral part of my process. Beeswax is an organic material with a strong personality. The range of qualities, surfaces, and textures it can yield is unmatched by any other painting material. The wax and I have formed a partnership, it tells me where and how to proceed as I guide and tease the molten medium.
In my paintings, layers of wax are painstakingly piled
on top of acrylic washes, oil paint, and spray paints. Surface depth accumulates by weaving organic and geometric shapes through different levels. The final result
is a thin sculpture with fragments of long-forgotten messages resonating through.
In contrast, my monotype series is an immediate exploration of the wax’s character. In this case, there is a visceral response when I bring a brick of wax onto a heated plate. The sensual flow of the medium tracks the movement of my hand and creates an illusion of three dimensions. Instead of adding layers, I remove paint with silicon tools making lines and textures to develop the compositions.
I think of my work as internalized landscapes that reflect
the experience of living in Canada’s largest urban
center—an encapsulation of all the daily sensory bombardments of the city. I strive to represent time and space, sight and sound, in a quiet loudness.