Inspired through her mixed heritage, Lauren Brevner’s art embodies cultural feminism. She creates a collage as she explores mixed media through the use of different kinds of paints and Japanese paper on wooden panels. The women that embody Brevner’s work symbolize strength and sensuality, creating awareness of women’s presence in art throughout the ages. Because Japanese art and culture deeply influence her work; Brevner’s designs are a modern expression of modern heritage.
How did you get involved in creating art?
I have always been into creative pursuits since I was young, mostly influenced by my mother and her eclectic sense of style. I grew up loving to create things with my hands, but didn’t really think it was something I could turn into a career. After moving to Japan when I was 19, I apprenticed under the ultimate factotum- Sin Nakayamal. He is self taught in fashion design, video production, art, photography, and everything else under the sun. It was his teachings that made me consider doing what I was passionate about and sparked my journey into the world of art.
What materials do you use for your work and why?
As a mixed media artist, I use quite a few things and it changes on a whim. Currently, I use oil, acrylic and oil pastel for mediums. I do collage work with chiyogami, yuzen and washi papers as well as metal leaf. I also paint on wood panels, which enables me to work with resin.
What influences your art?
Where to begin… I’m influenced by most things- floral design, textiles, architecture, geometry, other art/artists, movies, music, etc. The list always goes on. You will notice, however, that there are strong ties to Japanese culture and aesthetic in my work. That is a huge source and inspiration for me- beauty in simplicity.
Are your paintings expressing anything in particular?
My paintings do have themes but, in general, my work is meant to empower the female character. The women I paint have features from different ethnicities; it’s my way of giving us mixed kids a place in culture; something to identify with.
The shapes and patterns give more emphasis and seem to complete your paintings. How do you choose to incorporate the details that you do?
The collage work is extremely organic and probably the most spontaneous part of the painting. I always start with the face, I don’t sketch first but just work it out on the panel itself. Once the background and face and everything else is ready, I’ll start the collage process. It usually looks totally different from what I had envisioned in my head, but it comes together in its own way. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts for me.
Where do you picture your work being displayed?
If you mean gallery-wise:
I would love to see my work displayed internationally, specifically Japan/Asia. It is a major life goal of mine to return to Japan as an artist and see how my work is perceived by the culture that I take so much inspiration from. Also, to see my mentor again and thank him.
If you mean decor-wise:
I think my work is suited to a more modern aesthetic. Large white walls, minimal furnishings, elegant and classic.
Are you currently working on anything?
I am thrilled to currently be working on a new collection of paintings for my next two shows in Toronto with Artlink Canada. The first will be an extension of the Vancouver-based East Meets West Exhibition I was featured in. It will be hosted at Only One gallery from November 12th to the 25. The second show will also be in Toronto in February, also hosted by Artlink Canada at Twist Gallery.