A practicing artist since 2003, Brian Coleman is not a painter of social commentary—though his mixed-media works certainly reflect an emotional expression to which all viewers can relate. Neither does the abstract artist define himself as a true Expressionist, yet his process—alternating between fluid and structured gestures—undoubtedly reveals how he makes sense of the world as he moves through it. Painting according to his moods and often to music (Portishead, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Youth Lagoon) Coleman harnesses the heightened creativity of turbulent days to fashion his more frenetic works (à la Willem de Kooning or Arshile Gorky), while calmer, more focused moments call upon his foundations in graphic design. Coleman draws from a vast library of compositional reference points to produce these precise, magnified and tightly controlled studies—motifs reminiscent of Midcentury masters (such as Picasso and Miró) that weave a common thread throughout his entire oeuvre. “I move back and forth between the two styles, always with continuity of color, line, shape and form,” the artist elaborates. “I edit most of my pieces to achieve an asymmetrical balance, with both hard and soft edges, organic and geometric forms.” It is Coleman’s uncanny ability to meld the disparate, seemingly incompatible concepts of structure and fluidity that helps him appeal to such a broad swath of private and corporate collectors, but especially members of the design trade, who find his work to be quite complementary to their own.
Coleman is represented in Atlanta at Anne Irwin Fine Art and in Charleston at The George Gallery. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, son and yellow lab named Picasso.