I currently make paintings from found objects that function as small stories or still lifes, representing a place, memory or feeling. These everyday objects include food items (both home-made and take-out), flowers, coins, keys, leaves, souvenirs and other items. Cast in acrylic paint and put onto panels, these objects retain their individual origins while also coming together to illustrate small narratives. Memory forms these projects, and allows time for reflection on events that are temporal, yet significant.
My background in sculpture has given me the impetus to create three dimensionally, looking at art as how it relates to space and our bodies. Through moldmaking, my painting practice retains this relationship to objects, and allows me to continue working with my hands. At first glance, it looks like I’ve adhered pizza slices to a panel and painted them, though upon closer inspection their edges reveal otherwise. Next, the work may seem to operate with a hyper-realism brush or knife handling, though this is far beyond my skill level. Instead, the brush and knife are primarily used for applying paint within the molds, rather than creating the image itself on the panel. This pseudo-theatre behind the making interests me personally as to what painting can be, and has given me access to the medium as a sculptor.
Travel, sense experience and memory are central to the process and content of my work. The exploratory nature of travel, especially trips to a new landscape or culture, inspires a reawakening of all senses. This confusion is an excellent device for achieving a more conscious and considerate engagement with both environment and self. The intensity of these feelings abroad is never fully regained at home, but through their transformations, they drift away at a slower pace and allow further reflection.--
Brian Nigus currently lives and works in Anacortes, Washington.