In this 50th episode of A brush with..., Ben Luke talks to Glenn Brown about his influences—from writers to film-makers, musicians and, of course, artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work.
Brown (born in Hexham, UK, in 1966) takes reproductions of other artists’ works—including those by Old Masters, the greats of Modern art and science-fiction illustrators—and transforms them by changing their colour, orientation and size. It leads to paintings, drawings and sculptures that are often grotesque and macabre but always strangely enticing and resonant.
He discusses his early love of the art of horror and fantasy, his ongoing fascination with Salvador Dalí, his admiration for artists as diverse as Hendrick Goltzius and Maria Lassnig, the impact of Andrei Tarkovsky’s films, the writing of T.S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett, and how growing up during the Cold War influenced the music he listened to and the art he makes today. Plus, he gives intimate insight into his working life and answers our usual questions, including “What is art for?”.
• Glenn Brown: We’ll Keep On Dancing Till We Pay the Rent, Gagosian, West 24th Street, New York, 10 November-23 December
• Things: A History of Still Life Since Prehistoric Times, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 13 October-23 January 2023
• Glenn Brown: The Real Thing, Landesmuseum and Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany, 23 February-24 June 2023
• The Brown Collection—Brown’s museum of his own work—opens in Bentinck Mews, Marylebone, London, in October 2022. Visit the artist’s website for more details
Series 12 of A brush with… runs from 14 September to 5 October, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here. This podcast is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.