Today we’d like to introduce you to Bri Cirel.
Bri, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was always making things as a kid all through grade school to high school and then went to art school.
After graduating with a BA in film/video studies, I made videos and did graphic designing for t-shirt companies until landing a job at a Hollywood prop house where I did set dressing and made custom paintings for backdrops in commercials and film.
While working at the prop house, I learned many professional techniques that encouraged me to try painting in oil, which I had no experience with due to my focus on film in college.
Once I began learning how to paint in oil, I became obsessed with the medium and strived to create photo-realistic paintings. As I gained confidence in my painting abilities, I began to bring in elements from my background in graphic design and film editing.
After creating an aesthetic that combines text, graphic design, and traditional oil painting, I began showing my work in art galleries around California and was eventually invited to show in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago.
Today I work full time as a painter and video editor and have several shows planned for this year, including my show “BOD” in LA, which will be my first time curating a group exhibition.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not for several reasons. The first being that I had focussed on film studies in collage and had not taken any painting classes, so I had to teach myself everything that I know now about painting by years of persistence and trial and error.
Secondly, it is very hard to break into the gallery scene and that is especially true for women artists and people of color. When I first started many of the galleries that I pursued only represented 8-14% women artists and those statistics have not changed much. It wasn’t until galleries that focus on representing women artists reached out to me that I truly got my start.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I create oil paintings that combine photorealism with text and graphic design. Using a multiple stage method of masking, painting, and layering, I build works that incorporate elements such as portraiture, words, and shapes to create a visual puzzle that often examines art history and addresses social politics. I use text in my paintings to deliver commentary while also utilizing the font’s graphic qualities to distort or contain imagery.
While I am mostly known for my oil paintings, I also produces low budget music videos and independent art shorts for established and emerging artists.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Certainly, I would not be where I am today without the support from friends, family, and my partner. I do feel very lucky to have always gotten support from my parents to be creative and go to art school, and from friends who inspire me, and my partner of 17 years who encouraged me to quit my job to work full time on my own career.
- My paintings began in the $100-$800 price range and have since moved up to $1,000-$3,000
- Website: www.BriCirel.com
- Email: Bri@BriCirel.com
- Instagram: @Bri.Cirel
- Others: YouTube videos of painting process – https://youtu.be/5kYGi5WlT68, https://youtu.be/4XYP6V9G9uE, https://youtu.be/EVJ8D7Q2_GY