Photo Courtesy of  Subsect

Alex Brown

born 1966

Alex Brown

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Des Moines-based artist Alex Brown engages the viewer with everyday images that emerge out of abstraction. The illusion is essential in his artwork; he takes a completely recognizable object and challenges the viewer to see it anew. Often found photographs are used from postcards, travel brochures, and the Internet. Then a series of geometric transformations on that material is imposed which breaks the image up into pixels. Pixels have evolved over time from squares to overlapping circles and interlocking tile patterns. Sometimes images are composed into dots and points. Images appear out of their disorganized forms like apparitions.

Brown’s work is reminiscent of the 20th Century optical illusion paintings of Victor Vasarely, as well as the work of the 19th Century artist Georges Seurat whose revolutionary new painting technique inspired an art movement. [Georges Seurat, the celebrated French Post-Impressionist painter, devised the “pointillist” technique where by tiny juxtaposed dots of multi-colored paint allow the viewer’s eye to blend colors optically, rather than having the colors physically blended on the canvas).

Brown’s process embraces humor and the joy of discovering an image that at first appears hidden, only to materialize out of shape and color.

Alex Brown earned a BFA in 1991 from Parsons School of Design, New York. He has exhibited internationally: Brussels, Geneva, Tokyo, New York. He lives and works in Des Moines.

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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