Today I am happy to introduce Micheal Brillas as a contributing artist to my Examining The Creative Mind Series. His work is unique and thought-provoking. Links to his Facebook page and website will be at the bottom of this post. His business is called Zendigity. Enjoy!
How would you describe your work in 3-4 words?
Awareness through Perceptual Juxtaposition.
What are you hoping to communicate through your art?
I think ultimately I’m looking to deliver a message about perception that too easily gets overlooked by people. This existence is something that we share with each other, yet we all view it independently. Together, we form a social consciousness, a mutual understanding of reality as it’s defined by the group. This then reinforces the idea that everyone’s existence must be the same. I try to interject the idea that there’s always another way to look at something, and that we only really know the reality of our own existence.
As an artist, how do you define success?
I define success as being an artist. I currently work as an IT guy supporting clients in 3 states.
My life is in a state of constant evolution and change. The company I work for is in a stage of success where we’ve outgrown our ability to keep up with the pace of our own growth. It’s crazy, it’s manic, and it’s a pressure cooker of potential that most people aren’t able to comprehend, let alone manage.
By nature, I’m an introvert, what’s known as a “high self-monitor”. I spend a lot of time in observation, and I’m able to dissect problems within social interactions. That’s not an easy thing to describe, which often keeps me from trying, but it means I need to be able to decompress after resolving stressful situations. That’s where my artwork comes in, MacroAbstractography. I create tiny abstract sculptures and photograph them up-close in various backgrounds. Once enlarged out of proportion, the images take on something akin to a Rorschach test. Setting up the correct angles, lighting and backgrounds in order to get the right shot, takes a lot of focus and concentration. This takes my mind off of my work.
What other media do you work with?
Recently, I’ve gotten into working with acrylic epoxies creating ‘second life’ artwork with Jennifer Tallman; one of the artist’s you’ve previously featured. Second life artwork takes discarded items, (mainly old tables and cabinet doors) and transforms them into something new through the use of specially pigmented epoxy resins. The moment you mix the epoxy you have a limited amount of time to work it before it hardens. The moment something gets added it can’t be undone, so mistakes have to be mitigated quickly. At the same time, you’re working with something that’s already been thrown away, so it encourages you to take risks. The moment it hardens, you’re done. Then it becomes all about building upon the layer. Each piece consists of multiple layers, built upon one another to create the illusion of depth and movement.
As an artist, is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish?
I’d like to one day leave behind the manic world of IT and focus my effort fully on selling myself as an artist. Right now, I have a difficult time considering myself an artist. I can’t draw or paint, and my hand-eye coordination is terrible. But I am able to sometimes see things that others overlook. While I love to create for the sake of creation, I do tend mostly to create for the sake of communication. I’m not sure if that makes me more of a communicator than an artist, but at this point, I don’t think it really matters.
I built Zendigity.com as a place to display my images. As I shared my work with people, I noticed how the things people saw in my work reflected the way they saw other things as well. This was what led to the ideas behind MAZE.
MAZE is the Modern American Zen Experience, a way of finding peace and harmony through the entanglement of conflicting perspective. One day I plan to write a book on MAZE, but at this point I don’t have that map ready to be drawn.
You mention Zen a lot, are these Buddhist ideas?
Not entirely. The Zen I reference is more a Taoist principle applied to the modern American experience, at least as far as it’s known to me. This can sometimes cause confusion for those who might think I’m attempting to teach Buddhism or Zazen, a Buddhist meditative technique. Zen from a Taoist’s perspective is more defined as being within the flow of one’s individual existence. That’s what I’d like to teach, how to find that flow.
How do you find that?
By being aware of perceptual juxtaposition. 🙂
Thank you, Micheal Brillas for participating in my series and sharing your work with us. I am looking forward to going back East one day and buying one of those tables. I think they are gorgeous.
Please visit Zendigity on Facebook
Check out more of Micheal Brillas MacroAbstractography on Zendigity.com