Artist on File: Michael Brace
Gimara Duncan's interview with new member Michael Brace, discussing the work on display at his recent exhibition at Letchworth Arts Centre.
Michael Brace’s paintings tell subtle stories about modern British culture. His work takes advantage of the many preconceptions regarding different groups within society. For example, the “Tea drinker” is an oil painting of heavily tattooed man drinking from - you guessed it - a delicate porcelain tea cup. At first glance, many would describe the tea drinker as a yob but the tea drinker actually works as a civil servant. The counterpoint to the “Tea drinker” is the “Officer”, a painting of a police officer also drinking from a delicate porcelain tea cup. However, the “Officer” is more than just a counterpoint piece; it is a self portrait of the artist. Thus, Michael’s work isn’t limited to how he sees modern Britain as an outsider, it also reflects his own role within it. It would be interesting to see his role as an artist in the “Tea drinker” series. These works and others were recently on display at the Letchworth Art Centre.
Michael is inspired by artists such as Mitch Griffiths, Stuart Luke Gatherer and Euan Uglow. His work is more a social commentary than a political one. Each painting is carefully conceived in a four step process: starting with the selection and staging of source material, capturing the fleeting moment in a photograph and digitally manipulating it before finally painting.
More information and examples of Michael’s work can be found on www.braceandbrace.co.uk and he is also available for commissions.
by GIMARA DUNCAN