Brin Levinson & David Welker Interviews

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Brin Levinson & David Welker Interviews

We chatted with Brin Levinson & David Welker about their upcoming show at GF, Lucid Dreamscapes.


Hey Brin, tell us about yourself and what you do.

I have a pretty simple life and try to avoid the rat race. The Pacific Northwest is rainy a lot the year so there’s a good excuse to get work done. If it’s a rare nice day, I might head to the coast or mountain. I never go anywhere without my camera and dog. I love looking at things in nature. Most of my time is making art. I’m an oil painter usually eight days a week.

Your work is crazy detailed and comes from an imagination and talent level I can’t even begin to understand, what is your process?

I usually start with looking at pictures and taking pictures. I use them as a jumping off point. Sometimes you go on a tangent with ideas that can become a series of pantings. Other times each piece is like a new experiment because you want to try something different. I usually don’t sketch, I just start painting with loose washes. The whole painting evolves with many layers of paint. It’s like focusing a lens. This technique takes a long time but it’s how I like to work, it’s very free, I don’t worry about “staying in the lines”. I tend to be a perfectionist and do a lot of analyzing. When nothing about the painting bothers me, I can call it finished.


Your work involves a lot of urban decay, is this what attracts you to Chicago?

Yes. When I visited Chicago the last time, I discovered the L  and took a million pictures. I love the steel structures, water towers and tracks overhead.

Explain a little bit about Lucid Dreamscapes and what your vision is for the show?

David (Welker) and I talked about what we wanted to do for the show and what would be a good fit for the gallery. Galerie F is an amazing gig poster and screen print gallery. So, we wanted to have a good mix of small originals, screen prints and I wanted to revisit my idea to do a lenticular print series. There’s going to be a refreshing variety of work from us there. The common thread is the urban landscape aspect and surrealism in our work.


What excites you most about shows? Coming up with the work? Seeing it in the gallery? Working with other artists?

I love doing shows and having a body of work that is finished and unified. This show is especially exciting to me because I’ve been inspired by Davids work since I was a beginning artist. I met him for the first time by chance at a party on new years eve in New York when I was a teenager. I never thought we’d show together some day. It’s really an honor and a personal milestone to show with David.

You’ve worked with us before on an exclusive, what attracts you to the gallery system?

I like being involved in the art world. Having people come see what you’ve made is what makes what you do relevant and worthwhile. If there was no one else to see my paintings, I really don’t know if I’d make them. The interaction between the art and other people is the main point to me.

Do you have anything else coming up this year that you can talk about?

There are some nice group shows this summer and fall and I have another big two person show in October here in Portland. I’m looking forward to making some new work and expanding on some ideas.



Hey David, how are you today?

I’m feeling good. In the zone.

Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I live and work in downtown Manhattan. I draw and paint.
Explain a little bit about Lucid Dreamscapes. What is your vision for the show?
Well Brin Levinson and I both have this fixation with landscapes and pictorial staging. We’ve talked about floating compositions but we both gravitate towards what we’ve called “grounding” of events.
And since we both tend towards the surreal we expressed this sort of range of conceptual realism in this show. I also added some graphite studies of Chicago with the help of local photographer Jason Kaczorowski.
Do you know Brin? What are you looking forward to regarding his work? Have you been in contact with each other regarding the show?
I met Brin in 1995 in a liquid room with a bunch of liquid people across the street from Madison Square Garden. He came up to me with pupils the size of frying pans and said that I inspired him to paint. 20 years later I couldn’t be more happy, proud, honored and inspired by his career. He is a gem of a person.
I’m sure lots of people know you from the gig poster world, what made you branch out from that in such a big way?
My influences, perspectives and desires have always been very diverse, so flowing to and from one aspect of the art world to another is second nature.
You have quite a few different styles, where did they come from and do you choose to implement a style based on the project?
They all just emerge naturally from my interests and the ethos. That place of “La Joie De Vivre”
You’ve worked with us before on the baseball series and other prints. What do relationships with galleries mean to you?
Well it’s a symbiosis. It’s a social thing. An event based relationship where people can come together for a real time happening. Thats why we do it nowadays.
Do you have anything else coming up this year that you can talk about?
Most of the stuff coming up is a secret, but I can mention that I’m in a cool group show at the Mondo Gallery in Austin Texas on March 18th with a ton of other awesome artists. I’m also working with Hoerle-Guggenheim and their friends at Halcyon Gallery to try to schedule a show for me in London in 2017. I’m very excited with that possibility.
Lucid Dreamscapes opens Friday 11th March 2016.
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