Erika received her Associates Degree from Chamberlayne Jr College, Boston MA majoring in Advertising Design/Fashion Illustration. Minor in Photography. She also attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago majoring in Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting, minoring in Photography.
Coming to terms with why I'm here, who I am, how I think and why I think the things I do. Meeting myself in the middle and having a heart to heart with my Shadow Self.
Figuring out how to put image to paper after conjuring them up through dance. And most of all, making some sort of sense out of all these ideals,emotions and contradictions that life and those in and around my life throw in my direction.
This is what Truth. Beauty. Love. is all about.
Truth. Beauty. Love. is a 13x11 full color 120 page collection of my art and writings. It is available on my website as well as through www.blurb.com
Erika Whitney Brown :: Artist Statement
I have never felt the need to categorize anything about myself; be it religious, racial, political, socioeconomical or philosophical. I believe that people should be allowed to grow organically-to manifest their potential best. With over 11 nationalities mixed within my skin- I see myself as a True American: A Hybrid. It is hard to be pinned down to any one belief, structure, constitution or ideal growing up this way. How can one flourish if you have been pegged and chained to your beliefs, where you were born, or the parents you have, never to have the chance to move beyond your sphere unless you put up a fight? Yet, I have not settled on who I am either.
In saying this, I was stunned when I came upon the definition of Romanticism. Never has one philosophical movement mimicked my thoughts and feelings as has this one. I have applauded Transcendentalism, Symbolism and in fact, The Bohemian Art Movement, yet none fully grasped all I felt towards the Universe, Nature and the Ideals of Love such as the Romantic Movement. These other movements do not focus on the individual consciousness or our emotions (both I feel are vital to an artist s creativity and passion to create). My craving to understand the unknown and exotic has been validated, confirmed and explained within the definition of this movement.
What is exotic to me is what lives in the minds of those I find beautiful, interesting, and the unknown. Further, those who intrigue me do so because of the energy they emit. Consequently, I am drawn to dissect these qualities-through my art processes-in order to unveil the elements that have inspired me in the first place. To capture and instill these treasures onto a canvas, so others may have a similar understanding of love, of beauty, of transcending the mundane has become a mission. I call forth these feelings, thought and emotions through the use of textures, color theory/therapy, hidden symbols and Universal images that might bring us to a higher source of ourselves. Hopefully, we come to terms with our own creation and the understanding that we are perfect and made from that which is perfect - with all of our imperfections. Such as Da Vinci s Mona Lisa.
With all of the above in mind, my more Symbolic paintings are translations of my thoughts and prose, where as my emotional content manifests itself in Abstract compositions. I change my medium to fit my mood which ultimately is an energetic product of the piece. Watercolor tends to be bittersweet for me and a bit moody. Oil is bold in its energetic statement while my graphic art is entirely freeing and full of wonder and the excitement of the unknown. The ability to morph these media into new work that stands on its own has been liberating to my process.
As the composer Phillip Glass said, (quote) Sometimes you come to learn what the piece is about at the end of the piece. Hopefully it will come. It comes. It does not come if you are not there. You have to do the work or it does not come. (end quote)
So, I do the work, with the faith that the answers lay somewhere within the art and the hope that I will be able to comprehend what I am unearthing. It has made me feel more connected to my work as an artist and to what I am trying to achieve over all; a holistic way of living, seen and represented through my art. Ultimately it is about sharing love, strength and all that is positive, beautiful and good in this world. Pronoia (as Rob Bresney has coined it) rather than Paranoia.
I have been driven head, heart and soul into being a full time artist as if my life depended on it. I am committed to this path and hope to continue on it.