“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 quotidian materials like wire, nylon string, raw fabrics, machetes, laminate, stone, coal, wood, natural twine…Through these materials 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 which he describes as a “one of the rich earthy centers of midwestern 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 and earned a second BA in design.
After graduating from MICA he began painting in an abstract style and matured into a brilliant colorist. With no real direction he headed west and lived in an RV for the next 5 years developing and deepening his work as a means of desperate expression and understanding of the world around him. He studied meditation with a great Japanese Zen master for several years while still creating paintings.
He dedicated himself to Buddhist practice for the next two years and quit making art. 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.