ABOUT THE ARTIST
for his sensual figurative paintings, Billy Brauer grew up in Queens, New York
knowing he would be an artist. Brauer attended the School of Visual Arts in New
York City, and was a protégé of the renowned surrealist painter Federico
Castellon. His first years as an artist were spent working as an illustrator,
where Brauer applied his intellect and imagination to progress in his
profession. He feels he still uses the design concepts he learned as an
illustrator as a painter, manipulating space and form to create a sense of
tension and mystery.
Statement from the artist...
always been able to draw but I failed high school art. They wanted me to draw
tables and chairs but I was already drawing figures...so I flunked.
encouraged, I went on to become a professional artist. I worked as a freelance
illustrator in New York and also as a printmaker producing etchings and lithos.
to Vermont in 1969 but soon the limitations of printmaking caused me to rethink
my direction. I decided to begin painting, which gave me the opportunity to
explore size, color, density and surface.
in size also forced me to change imagery. The small and intricate forms of
printmaking did not translate well to larger color pieces. As Renaissance
painters did, I pursued my fascination with the human form, taking Renaissance
concepts of the figure, and combining them with my contemporary design sense to
create my own visions.
the paintings are about shapes next to shapes and colors next to colors. I love
manipulating forms. My work draws inspiration from a variety of sources,
including Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology and motifs. I use a single light
source and a shallow visual depth to create tension and dramatic light and dark
patterns. I often use cast shadows, which take on their own presence, adding an
air of mystery to the works. In these paintings, something else is happening,
just beyond the picture plane; the viewer just gets a hint. I like to create an
alluring mood in my paintings that attracts the viewer, and then give them
something to hang on to."
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