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My paintings are characterized as industrial, modern, and abstract, blended with elements of realism and atmosphere. These multi-layered textural works in oil reveal contrast between thick and detailed brushwork, dominating focal points and surrounding space, rigid angles and ambient movement, and dark and light colour schemes. Drawing inspiration from modernism and modern design, from architecture to people and places, I express in art what I perceive in the world around me.
My style has evolved from my life experiences. I was born in Rochester, New York, but moved to a town south of Detroit when I was young. Raised in an unconventional and artistic family that exposed me to diverse people, ideas, and surroundings, I was encouraged to process all that I encountered deeply. As I gained education, traveled, and took on new roles (e.g., guitar player, prosthetic designer, artist, husband, and father), my framework for understanding places, environments, relationships, and contexts expanded. I came to understand the mutual affective connection between physical landscapes and cultures.
My perspective and style began years ago while painting a relative’s barn (on canvas) located north of Toronto. The piece was non-representational. As I gazed at the landscape, I realized how I could tell a story as a visual artist. In my portrayals of landscapes since then, including Detroit, Glasgow, Potsdamer Platz, among others, I realized I was offering an interpretation of the presence, power, and meaningfulness of the landscape to active cultural participants.
My interest in creating modern urban art originated in my early experiences in Detroit. The overwhelming industrial buildings, rich cultural diversity, and vibrant art culture indelibly shaped my impressionable young mind. Certain observations piqued my curiosity and created vivid memories that lingered. These and other life-defining moments became the source of my creative inspiration. Like Andrew Wyeth, who developed a painting style to narrate his environment, I chose to paint what I found interesting to explain the significance of the image.
My form and style have evolved through various life events. One such life-changing moment occurred when I visited Berlin in a November years ago. I witnessed a stimulating culture with a complex history, traveled by train and foot, shared meals and adventures with friends and fellow artists, and observed sites like the U-Bahn in Potsdamer Platz and the Reichstag. I directly observed how the landscape (i.e., the geography, structures, political, and social) affected the culture and how the culture affected the landscape. All of this influenced me profoundly and encouraged some of my favourite paintings.
Another meaningful moment occurred when I visited a fellow student in Manchester, England. In traveling through this assortment of unique people, histories, narratives, and landscapes, I felt a creative resonance with this culture and its scenery. Walking past the studio that produced bands like The Smiths and New Order, I realized that certain creative hotspots contribute valuably to culture. As I glimpsed into their lives and their stories, their narratives changed my own—and my art evolved.
I recently moved back to Detroit, which is interestingly called the “New Berlin.” I find that within the concrete and steel buildings manifests a passionate countercultural creativity that is evident in many forms that add unto each other—art, music, theatre, and writing, among others. It is usually in these cities that are fraught with adversity, challenges, diversity, and histories of rebellion that creativity arises. My art, inspired by these types of environments, exposes points of contrast and influence between culture and landscape that, despite all challenges, reveal a powerful resilience.
Inspired by the imagery of cities and the cultural implications of post modernity, abstract oil painter Bryan Grose has orchestrated a body of work that explores the intersections of space, shade, tone, and essence. Abstract art, by nature, suggests contrast. Grose’s work explores the contrast between modernity and post modernity, space and structure, freedom and limitation, light and dark, desire and void, and the varying shades in between.
Grose was born in Rochester, New York in 1969 to a middle-class but well-educated family. At a young age, his family moved to a rural town south of Detroit, MI. He grew up in a creative environment, coupled with the contrasting experiences of city and rural life, which bred his inner artist.
In reflecting on how he came to the craft, he says, “I feel I was always an artist...I was always expressive as a kid and interested in a lot of different things. Paintings were around the house along with a piano and guitar, a few dozen art books and a couple hundred others of various topics. I knew some day I would tell a story, somehow say something but wasn’t sure what form it would take.”
He craved understanding and pursued many avenues to build his repertoire of experience that became infused into his art.
Grose maintains that music and it’s emotional take away has always been a significant aspect of his creative development and evolution – both in terms of creating music and using others’ music evoke the deepest reaches of his imagination. “Detroit has music venues for classical, blues, metal, and punk. Over the years, friends and I visited all of them...We learned something from the differences of the places, people, sound, and emotions. Going into Detroit was half the event.” Grose appreciates growing up in such diversity – of music, art, and culture
– which is evident in his artistic expressions and outlook on life.
Eventually, Grose’s passion for art made it clear what he wanted to do and went on to study art at a local university. There he was able to merge his discovered love of drawing and sculpture with science, earning him a BFA with a minor in science. Initially, Grose thought he would pursue a career in medical illustration, a career choice that was inspired by his physician Grandfather.
While carving out his niche in life, Grose also developed an intense love of traveling. He took a break to back- pack across Europe after graduation, which gave him a better understanding of the world, fed his creativity,
and instilled a love of adventure.” My form and style have evolved through various life events. One such life- changing moment occurred when I visited Berlin, Germany in a November years ago. I witnessed a stimulating culture with a complex history, traveled by train, shared meals and adventures with friends and fellow artists, and observed sites like the U-Bahn in Potsdamer Platz and the Reichstag. Sitting amongst people, conversation and dinnerwear it was hard to take my eyes off of Christo’s drawing. “I observed how the landscape affected the culture and how the culture affected the landscape. All of this influenced me profoundly and encouraged some of my favourite paintings.”
In his early work, Grose was primarily interested in representational art and painted in a realistic style, but that artistic path changed when a piece he had been working on began to look and feel more abstract. It seemed to visually describe better the story he wanted to tell. In one moment, after years of painting he became an abstract expressionist painter.
This change to Grose’s work unearthed a depth, grit, and rawness that he refined and developed over time. His vision on that pivotal day “in Toronto” pushed him to be more authentic, take risks, and explore new methods and techniques in art. He pushed himself to become more prolific and create pieces that are more aesthetically unconventional and evocative, pieces which tell a story, a take away from life and meaning which surround it.
Grose currently lives and works in west Michigan, USA.
EXHIBITIONS 2016 – 2021
Arthouse Gallery, Hastings MI
Art Barn, Athens, OH
Shain Park, 242 Martin Street, Birmingham, MI ANNEX Gallery, 333 Midland, Detroit, MI Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV Gallery NK, Washington DC
Falls Church Center for the Arts, Falls Church, VA Mitrebox, Minneapolis, MN
Au-Gallery, Boston, MA
ART Attack, Minneapolis, MN
ART Hamptons + ART Expo, NY
The Aviary, Minneapolis, MN
Hallberg Center for the Arts, Wyoming, MN
Art A Whirl, Minneapolis, MN
IDS building, Crystal Court, Minneapolis, MN Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
ART Attack + ART A Whirl, Minneapolis, MN Public Functionary, Minneapolis, MN
Gallery 13, Minneapolis, MN
BFA- Eastern Michigan University
Abstract artist, modern art, contemporary artist, american artist, stylish art, large artwork