As a LEVEL Gallery team member part of my job is getting to know the most fascinating artists from all over. This is my favorite part of the job because I find myself constantly researching and learning new information relevant to the artist’s inspirations behind their work. It can be a cool party trick to be full of such random information, but it helps me to understand who our artists are and ultimately helps us as a gallery to support our artists' visions of how they want their work to impact their audiences. A specific example of a most recent learning discovery (inspired by my interview with Matthew Brinston) led me to find that the human body is comprised 206 bones that lend themselves to being the body's framework.
Our skeletons consist of bones, which provide a firm surface for muscles to attach to, so that we can move as poetically through life as we wish. Without a skeleton, we would not be able to move at all. Now close your eyes and imagine everyone you love as a giant squid or jellyfish trying to live above water. As you can see, bones are more than an integral part of our beings. Brinston knows firsthand that our bones are strong, yet fragile, and are a basic, yet sophisticated, design that our bodies need.
Recently I had an opportunity to speak with Brinston about his sketch series called “100 BONES”. As I made my way through the clusters of people surrounding the sketches I’d overhear Brinston explaining his work to others in his quiet yet bold confidence. I walked toward him armed with a few basic questions about his series and although similar to asking a mother who her favorite child was, I asked him if there was anything particularly meaningful out of this series that I could highlight in this blog post. He nodded politely and led me toward the main wall and began to explain a sketch.
If you’ve never met Brinston before, I’ll fill you in on his appearance and demeanor. He’s tall with lean musculature, and has bright blue, sincere eyes like his mother (who I had the pleasure of meeting along with his father and radiant new bride Marie). He sports long, curly, golden brown hair gently brushed and free flowing to the side that reveals the curvature of a deep scar. He can come off as a little shy and soft spoken, but once you begin to converse with him a little he surprises you with his precise articulation of the motivations and inspirations behind his work.
He begins by indiscriminately asking me if I’m into heavy metal and if I’ve heard of the band Heavy Heavy Low Low. I replied with a too emphatic “no” and he told me to listen to the song “Tragic, Tragic, Track Jacket”. https://youtu.be/G01zC8n8DmQ He told me that these pieces from the series were amongst the most significant sketches out of the entire Bones series because they symbolized the duality of his persona while he was recovering from his motorcycle accident.
*For more info about the accident that changed the trajectory of the artist’s life click on this link written by Roberto Aguilar https://centraltrack.com/Culture/8621/Leaving-His-Mark-/After-Almost-Dying-This-Dallas-Artist-Is-Travelling-The-Country-And-Giving-His-Art-Away-For-Free
“I was saying one thing and doing another. My words and actions never matched. I was never the same person at the same time.”
He said that due to the injuries that he had sustained, his body was having to heal from the trauma and one of the major side effects of this tragic accident was that his abilities to manage his emotions had been compromised. Brinston said that it had taken him a while to understand how the injury had affected him and it wasn’t until a friend brought it to his attention that he began to realize the duality of his daily character. “I was saying one thing and doing another. My words and actions never matched. I was never the same person at the same time.”
He went on to tell me that the lyrics of that song had inspired this character for a significant portion of the series and he was blessed and happy to have made it through that difficult time. I guess you can say that we all have our bones; our skeletons that contribute to the foundation of our character. They are the most integral parts of our being that give us the stability we need to grow into the people we want to become. In true artist’s form, Brinston invites his audience and collectors to experience life through his artistic expression making his pieces affordable to everyone, from giving away his pieces on sidewalks and at local parks, to this current series selling for only $100.00 dollars each.
For inquiries about collecting one of Brinston’s pieces from this current series or any other pieces from previous collections, please contact Brandy Michele Adams by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (626)-731-5683.