We are honored to be showing a piece by LA-based figurative artist, Brea Weinreb. Her deliciously colorful paintings of crowds of men depict and decode moments of camaraderie, solidarity, performativity and exclusivity within male homosocial spaces.
Brea holds a Dual B.A. in Art Practice and English from University of California, Berkeley. Her career in the arts was heavily inspired by her grandfather, a lettering artist for DC comics, and high school painting classes. Read below for an inside look into Brea's inspiration, color palette, and community.
Tell us a little about your journey as an artist. Did you always know that you wanted to be one?
Art has always been an important part of my life, but it wasn't until about the end of my undergrad that I realized it was what I wanted to pursue as a career and life practice. My grandfather was a lettering artist for DC Comics, so from a young age he encouraged me to create and taught me how to draw. I started taking painting classes at age 14 and it feels like I haven't stopped painting since then.
Your style of painting and color palette are very unique, can you share any influences or any events that led to developing your style of work?
Thank you :) When I was younger I was heavily influenced by both Marlene Dumas and Francis Bacon, I think even though their influence may not be as immediately apparent now, they led me to start creating these kind of abstract, drippy figures. My forms have definitely solidified over the years but I still see this initial influence in some of my brushstrokes and the melding of colors within my figures.
I keep a notebook of all my color combinations so my palette for each painting usually builds on the last one. I love mixing colors, my palettes for skin tones are usually referential - for example I'll try to make a body like a sunset and see where that takes me.
Deoiselles of Gay Beach, oil on canvas, 2021.
Before the Show, oil on canvas, 2022.
What concepts/themes are you exploring in your practice?
I've really been enjoying looking at/painting men from my own queer female gaze. I've also been thinking a lot about community and how it forms/informs one's sense of self. I've been representing this through these tangled masses of bodies where clothing and material objects serve as more distinct markers of identity than faces do. Some other themes I'm always interested in are performances of gender and sexuality and moments of magic and transcendence in queer spaces.
Leg Forest I, oil on canvas, 2022.
Q: How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
A: Tongue-in-cheek, flamboyant, strange, colorful, fun
Brea Weinreb, she/her (b. 1994, Long Island, New York) is a figurative painter based in Los Angeles. Her paintings of crowds of men depict and decode moments of camaraderie, solidarity, performativity and exclusivity within male homosocial spaces. She holds a Dual B.A. in Art Practice and English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work was featured on the cover of the Pacific Coast Issue #157 of New American Painting, and has been exhibited at Monya Rowe Gallery (New York), Anat Ebgi Gallery (Los Angeles), Taymour Grahne Projects (London, UK), Steven Zevitas Gallery (Boston), and more. Public collections include the Green Family Art Foundation in Dallas, TX.