Friday, February 11, 2011

Featured Artist

Brent Rodgers
Two Little Fruits Art Studio
This is the second installment in a two-part series featuring the Two Little Fruits Art Studio.  Two Little Fruits is owned and operated by Derek Cadena and Brent Rodgers.
Born from good stock in Colorado, Brent Rodgers has been a working artist in Denver for the last 7 years, he works in acrylic, wire and metal, and new media.  Mr. Rodgers’s is a member of CoArt Gallery and has shown his art around Denver at Rock the Cradle, the Pork Chop Show, Detail Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and all over the world via the internet.  Brent is one half of the Two Little Fruits Art Studio, where he works alongside Derek Cadena, his life and business partner of 10 years.
Rainy Day Drive, digital photo collage, Brent Rodgers, 2010

What attracted you to head vase ladies, inspiring you to use them as the basis for your “Fruitville” series?
vacant stares and smooth porcelain faces really intrigue me.  They are simply begging to be given a story to save them from epic boredom.  There is something really nostalgic and comforting about them, like a trip to Grandma's house.  A heavily medicated trip to Grandma's!  I'm not exactly sure why, they just inspire me to give them life and I have a lot fun with it.

Untitled - Detail, acrylic/wire on panel, 12x24," Brent Rodgers, 2005
One of the unique aspects your work, is the technique you use for your abstract wire paintings, what initially drew you to that method?
     As a budding child artist, sculpture was my first love, especially clay.  Slab roll sculptures of fish and imagined creatures still sit proudly on my Mother's refrigerator and book shelves.  Another sculptural technique that really captured my attention was gluing string and macaroni to cardboard.  Which is pretty much the same thing I do with
my wire art. I found some thin bailing wire at a odd little mom and pop craft store in Denver, wadded it up and doused it in acrylic polymer.  At first, they looked like hairballs. As I improved, the wire became these amazing organic shapes, reminiscent of microbial life.  The painting aspect gave these almost animated sculptures an environment in which to thrive.  I still find them exciting, and have few left in my personal collection.  I stopped making them because I would use the home oven to bake the acrylic for the bubbly effect, and decided it was a little too toxic.  I would love to make some new versions of my wire art, but with encaustic and maybe some natural fibers and other found elements in nature.  Even encaustic wax needs proper ventilation when it's heated.  Someday, hopefully soon, Derek and I will have our dream studio and can make all the toxic art we want!
The Marshas Visit Red Rocks, digital photo collage, Brent Rodgers, 2009
You seem to create imagined scenarios through your work with “Fruitville” and “Dark Hour Doodles,” do you feel as though you are telling stories through your art?
    I like letting my subjects tell stories, I'm just here to guide them.  A Fruitville girl usually starts off with the
head vase roughly cutout and put on figures with fabulous dresses. Then, once the perfect head/body combo is found, I can create scenes to put them in, or, vis versa.  Sometimes the background comes first, if I'm out on an adventure and feel a story happening then I capture it.  A great example of this is: one day while on a hike at Red Rocks outside of Denver, Derek and I stumbled upon the site where aliens were getting beamed down out of their spacecraft, well, that's the story told with "The Marshas Visit Red Rocks".
    I always hope that part of my artwork's story is created by the viewer.  I never feel like the story is set in stone,  there is a lot of room for interpretation.

Jack Maggot - Dark Hour Doodle Series, acrylic/mixed on panel, 8x10," Brent Rodgers, 2009
Sincere thanks to Brent Rodgers for sharing his fantastic Fruitville Series, Abstract Wire Sculpture paintings and Darkhour Doodles here.  

What do you think of Brent's work?
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