Connect
To Top

Meet Kyle Bryant

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyle Bryant.

Kyle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I began my artistic journey as a teenager skateboarding, exploring and doing graffiti around the abandoned my mills of my hometown in Maine. After developing a healthy appreciation for art and design through the New England hardcore music scene, I began studying art at The Massachusetts College of Art and Design where I studied printmaking and fell in love with woodcut prints.

It wasn’t long after art school that I began a long journey of exploring the intersections of art and adventure. I used a grant to do an artist residency in Berlin, Germany where I developed my style, returned to Maine, left for Portugal, lived in Barcelona for two years, went to the Rocky Mountains, Denver and lived for a year in a van before finally landing in LA. The entire time I dedicated all of my available energy to the creation of art, and through good times and bad I’m still here.

While living in the van, I discovered my current process of creating layered woodcut sculptures and created my first pieces in my tiny 150 sq ft home/studio. I will create art anywhere, doing anything I can do to stay true to myself and my artistic growth. After a year in Los Angeles, I am happier than I have ever been and enjoying the fruits of my labor and dedication.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been anything but a smooth road. I’ve never made a lot of money which helped me learn to live within my means, stay humble and survive by any means necessary. In developing my style, I have shed blood, sweat and tears, literally. While living in Portland, Maine my studio had no insulation. In the winter, I would wear fingerless gloves and a down jacket for hours to create my work, in the summer you would find me in shirtless in mesh shorts dripping sweat off of my forehead onto my woodblocks. I’ve had to trade labor for studio access, sold illegal goods to pay my rent because art wasn’t making the ends meet, and I’ve learned to eat healthy on as little as $30 a week.

Over the course of my career, I have taken a ton of chances, seen some magnificent highs and bitter lows. They say that pressure turns coal into diamonds, and after years of struggling to survive, I’m beginning to see the diamond shine through my dusty exterior. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the struggles that I had to go through, and I’m a better man as a result.

Please tell us more about your art.
As my gallery, Thinkspace would describe it, I make handcarved wooden wall reliefs with acrylic and oil. What that means is that instead of just making a painting, I sketch out my images, cut layers of wood to shape with a jigsaw, carve the images out of the wood with hand chisels, paint the space below the surface and roll a thin layer of black ink over the raised surface to outline my images before permanently assembling them in layers of hand-cut wood.

I’m known for combining animals and images of city life into coherent compositions with a very collage like style. My work is inspired in equal parts by urban exploration, collage, graffiti, and fantasy. I like to play with perspective and scale to create a world that exists just on the verge of a believable reality.

I am proud of the fact that my work takes so much time and is driven as much by creative expression as it is by craftsmanship. In many ways, I developed a very unique way of creating art, and though some people have somewhat similar approaches, I had to learn all of my lessons on my own. It is because of that that my sculptures or paintings or whatever you want to call them sit differently on the wall, with layers of dimension and intricacy to explore, not only in the details of the carvings but in the dynamic space created by stacking layers of shaped wood on top of one another.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My success is 100% due to my dedication to making art. Through every challenge and every success, I have never wavered from putting in studio time EVERY single day. When I bought my van the first thing I thought of is “how can I make this a mobile art studio?”, then I figured out where I was going to sleep and eat. I put art first in every aspect of my life, and only recently that I’ve begun to see my long term goals manifest themselves in reality, have I realized that I need to put my well being first.

So maybe it’s stubbornness that is the key to my success, I’m too damn stubborn to give up, and too stubborn to compromise. Lets called it a dedicated stubbornness to making art that has led to where I am today.

Pricing:

  • My handmade woodblock prints are created to be an affordable entry into collecting my work. They range from around $30 to $300 depending on size and the amount of layers.
  • 12″ x 12″ wood carvings cost around $1000 with a small premium for custom commissions.
  • Prices or wood carvings depend on size, amount of layers, and complexity of construction, but range from $900 to $5000

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Birdman Photos via Thinkspace Gallery

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in