GEORGE
BRANDON 

South Orange, NJ, USA

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ARTIST STATEMENT

 
Initlally I confined myself to the found imagery I discovered in magazines, books and commercial advertisements but gradually it became necessary for me to create my own imagery directly and drawing, gelatin printing, writing and markers became part of my practice as well. I use a variety of papers: common copy paper, watercolor paper, exotic handmade papers, rice and tissue papers, photo paper, even brown paper bags. Although my inkjet printer sometimes plays a role in my collage work at this time my practice is primarily analogue. The themes I am concerned with relate to Black history and culture, social and political commentary, religions, psychology and spirituality, humor, horror and childhood fantasy (especially imaginary beings and imaginary landscapes). I have been influenced by jazz, surrealism, Dada, Afro-Futurism, folk art, pop art, street art and the traditional modern arftforms of Africa and Asia. 

ARTIST BIO

 
I was born in 1947 to Black working class parents in Newark, New Jersey USA. My father, a steelworker by day, was an amateur painter and scupltor in his spare time and it was through him that I was first exposed to,
and gained an appreiation for, visual art. Under his encouragement, I attended weekend arts programs sponsored by the Newark public school system during my elementary and junior high school years. While I was a student at Reed College I took art history and calligraphy classes but eventually graduated with a BA double-major degree in literature and anthropology. By this time I was already sporadically experimenting with collage,so my first collages were done in the late 1960s. I did not resume art study until after graduate school in anthropology, a teaching career, and retirement from academia in 2014. Starting in 2017 I took art classes through the South Orange/Maplewood Adult School with collage artist Barbara Minch, then drawing classes with Sarah Canfield, and have been creating collages consistently ever since. My first exhibiton was in September 2023 in the group show "Points of View" presented as part of the Newark Arts Festival.
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