What am I trying to achieve with my art? Maybe “achieve” is not a good word.
Ultimately, embracing each moment and expressing that moment is the path.
There is a little rabbit hole that we all constantly jump down into, engulfed in darkness. Why keep going back? We should transform each moment into ultimate expression no matter who we are or what we do.
My art is often about questioning the way we see things and our perception of the world around us. It’s about trying to see deeper into the nature of things, expressing certain realizations and creating something from those moments.
I only want my art to reflect my daily life. My states of mind, my relationships, the objects that surround me, sounds, ideas; all arising from my experience of and with those things. While working, when I truly experience a moment, the hair stands up on the back of my arms. I get chills. Delirious. And then I return.
I create things to help bring me clarity, and hopefully this energy will radiate outwards.
My latest body of work is created mostly in Guatemala. Using materials I can find easily like wire, nylon string, raw fabrics, machetes, laminate, stone, coal, wood,plastic…I hope to gain a closer connection to the people, the land and the towns that surround me.
Ohio University 1986-1990
Maryland Institute College of Art 1998-2000
Kurtis Brand grew up in Ohio part of the rich earthy history of the midwestern states of America. He attended advanced art classes at the University of Cincinnati while in high school and later attended and graduated from Ohio University majoring in painting. Soon after graduating he took to the road to absorb the vast, deep culture and landscape of America. Painting and selling portraits of friends as well as heroes of American culture carried him through until he realized it was time to settle down and further his understanding of conceptual art, design, objects, graphics, buildings…everything he had seen and experiences during his travels. While living in Baltimore, MD he decided to pursue a scholarship at the Maryland Institute College of Art in their Industrial Design program. This wasn’t necessarily a means to an end, but a way for him to better understand the world around him.
After graduating from MICA he continued to paint his surroundings. New ideas and an expanded worldview changed his paintings and they became more abstract and personal. Heading west and living in an RV for the next 5 years helped him develop and deepen his understanding of the world around him. He studied meditation with a great Japanese Zen master for several years while still creating paintings.
A creative block, depression and a sense of meaninglessness grabbed hold of Brand so he quit making art for the next two years dedicating himself to meditation and mindfulness practice. After acquiring some mental clarity and realization he saw that art was his only real pursuit so he moved to NY. After that everything fell into place; he met his wife, started a family and began to pursue art full time once again. Looking for new inspiration, the Brand’s decided to move to Guatemala to embrace new cultures and discover new ways of making art. Kurtis Brand’s current body of work represents these recent experiences.