When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
--1 Corinthians 13.11
James Wright Gallery is pleased to present WILD, new paintings by Brent Estabrook.
Since 2015 Estabrook has been pursuing ‘the Animals’ a body of work that explores the boundaries of realism and figure. Through his mastery of light, color and texture Estabrook has conveyed a deep passion for and comprehension of the technical craft of painting – rendering to perfection nostalgic plush toys which serve as a vehicle to capture our imagination and awaken our inner child. In time he’s gained the attention of an ever growing audience of art-world-insiders and next generation admirers, solidifying a calling and igniting his quest to create works that are visually stunning, technically profound and widely appreciated.
Estabrook began in 2018/2019 to seek out new ways to manifest these works, having pursued hyper realism for more than four years he became excited by the potential of unhinging his technical skills from the confounds of reality or expectation – this new approach would eventually lead him into an unfamiliar and exciting direction guided by subconscious skill and intuition. The new works are made in the flow-state, inventing each piece in the present moment and free from rigid process and preconceived plans while still maintaining the essence of Estabrook’s artistic hand: heavy textured oil paint, vibrant colors and three-dimensional likeness.
Admirers of Estabrook’s work should be prepare for something new – ready to experience with an open mind the results of an artistic quest for invention and discovery. By reducing the reference of familiar figures and stepping back from realism Estabrook has removed a crutch of immediacy that permeates our digital society, daring us to become intimate with the work to fully appreciate the unique intricacies and moments within each piece.
“Although seemingly simple, these works are actually very complex: Painting realistic is easy… but painting like a child once you’ve learned how to paint realistic, now that has been the most challenging thing I have faced as an artist. Creating this work has taught me to let go of the RULES that have dictated so much of my process and only after letting go have I been able to find true artistic freedom. I’m getting closer to unlocking what I believe is the highest form of creation – art that leverages the subconscious skill and soul of the creator.”