AMM Artist Spotlight: Basquiat protege, Brian Gormley

“I’ve tried to create in my art a sort of new cuisine out of all the exciting elements that I’ve seen in this world.” Brian Gormley

Arts Management Magazine: How has the information age, and social media, changed the art world?

Brian Gormley: Social media has made the image accessible to everybody. Everyone that has a computer can find out who a Van Gogh is, or Picasso, so the world is much better in an art image educated way. That said, it seems to me that artists were much more creative without the digital age when they were working in the studio not home or on the computer which is an art form in itself, so the  boundaries of what art is, is constantly changing. We just now have  immediate access to that constant change which almost allows no  downtime to digest, and I think art is a process of digestion, man is not what  he eats but what he digests.

AMM: This immediate change with no “downtime to digest,” seems along the lines of what Arts Management founder, Alvin Toffler, might have termed, Future Shock. What is art to you Brian?

BG: Art to me is life against death. Once you’re dead you’re not creating anymore. Art is the ultimate act of being alive.

Brian Gormley knew Jean-Michel Basquiat well and was influenced by him to create graffiti art. After working in the streets of New York City, Gormley began creating graffiti-influenced studio art that reflected additional influences of abstract expressionism. Critic Brian Fallon describes Gormley as an heir to abstract expressionism seeing an influence of Jackson Pollock in his more modestly scaled work. 

Gormley was born in New York City, both his father’s parents and grandparents were both Irish and although he is technically an American citizen, he spends a lot of time living in Dublin and regards himself as a well-travelled citizen of the world. His paintings have been featured in the past in Irish exhibitions at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the Wyvern Gallery and Expo at the Royal Dublin Society, via the Anya Van Gosselin Gallery. He has also exhibited regularly in New York City and as far afield as Vienna, Prague, Zurich, Rome and Mexico City.