Alex Brown (1966-2019) was a painter, musician, and guitarist in the seminal hardcore punk band Gorilla Biscuits. He graduated from Parsons School of Design, NYC (1991), and lived and worked in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
Alex Brown’s drawings and paintings combine representation and abstraction, based on found imagery from newspapers, postcards, magazines, and online. He implements a series of abstract transformations, sometimes using digital editing to break the image up into different pixelated or ovular forms. The interplay of human and machine is a persistent theme in Alex Brown’s drawings, which comprise thousands of marks individually made by hand. The contrast between the many hours of labour devoted to each drawing and the crudeness of the often mass-produced image is striking and perhaps ironic. Their pixelated nature gives them a digital quality, but upon close inspection, they are a wonder of detail and individuality. Brown’s practice seems steeped in ostranenie, the literary technique of defamiliarization; his work adjusts the way we consume images, inviting a deeper study of every grain, shadow, and figure that honours the patience and exactitude of the artist.
More on Alex Brown, here.