Entering the workspace of Salt Lake City artist Brett Moore, whose creations will be on display during the 2015 Season Finale of the Jung Society of Utah, I note materials that are unique to his fine art creations: tile grout, mastic, burlap, encaustics, plasters, metal and wood structures salvaged from old buildings.
A striking tryptic exemplifies the use of such materials. Old wood salvage creates the framework for three portraits. The art, itself is a commentary on the displacement of the homeless due to gentrification. It is a brilliant play between what is considered sacred and profane.
Having worked since his early twenties in building renovations, restoring trompe l’oiel ornament and the like, Brett became impressed with an idea. The layers of architecture that Brett encountered during each renovation represented different moments in time. Within these moments, the essence of the beings that had dwelt there still somehow remained.
This idea persisted even after Brett experienced a series of unrelated life changing events, which you can read about here. Out of this period of extremes came the impetus to pursue a career in fine art (painting) and to incorporate these lingering impressions into his works.
Layering a variety of materials brings a dream-like state to Brett’s art, which is why it fits so well with the Jung Society’s presentation on dreams. One of Brett’s works, titled “Legacy”, is a touching tribute to his son and his deceased mother in which he used salvaged material (pieces of wall from his own home) pertinent to the subject. Looking at this canvas, one of several works that incorporate this unique style, I am taken in by his singular vision.
Semitransparent figures pierce a veil of bonelike industrial structure. These painted ghosts, both advancing and ever fading, cause the eye to linger and the mind to wonder on their presence. If ever artwork expressed the intersecting of time and place, Brett’s work certainly fits the bill.
Startling and hypnotic best describe the effect of the skill Brett wields to craft these illusions.
Brett’s current endeavors include working with encaustic, a tricky medium made of beeswax and resin that requires quick manipulation. Brett explains that this process forces him to “let go and let the chaos come through.”
“If you try to master materials and composition it can come off as craftsman like,” Brett says, emphasizing that leaving room for chaos leads to discovery and personal growth as an artist.
Carl Jung once said, “We have no symbolic life, and we are all badly in need of the symbolic life. Only the symbolic life can express the need of the soul – the daily need of the soul, mind you!”
All I have to do to feel the power of symbolic life is look around Brett’s studio. It exists quite literally in the canvases he creates for his paintings as well as in the paintings themselves.
To see Brett’s work, visit the Salt Lake City library June 12 for the Jung Society of Utah 2015 finale presentation or visit his website.
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Artist & Co-Director of Events and Promotions
Jung Society of Utah