About Caleb Brown
I am a realist painter, working in oil, based in central Massachusetts. Thanks for visiting!
For the last several years I have been making pictures of commonplace things near to hand. My work has been featured in exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including the the Hague Museum of Art in the Netherlands; the Tokyo Gallery in Japan; the Nassau County Art Museum in Sandy Point, New York; and the Vanderbilt Estate Museum in Centerport, New York.
Look to the left to browse my portfolio. The smallest thumbnails are organized so the newest work appears first. You may load a larger preview into the picture frame by selecting one of these images. When you click this larger preview, you'll get a full-sized photo of the painting in a separate window. Feel free to print out copies for your files. And if my work interests you, please contact me.
These days many of us are tragically busy. To make ends meet, we often must choose the least painful sacrifice from a field of difficult compromises. In my case, it is a matter of negotiating between my vocation and avocation. I work full time designing software interfaces, and I do my oil painting very early in the morning when most people are asleep and everything is quiet. Because I find it hard to maintain these dual careers, I have merged the two, and made work about painting, and painting about work.
Since 2005 I have focused on my daily commute. In one form or another, commuting is an activity common to all of us. Of course, the verb "commute" means to change as well as to travel, and during every trip we are obliged to change, sometimes a great deal. From this perspective it can be said all of humanity is commuting, everywhere, right now, from birth until death. More than just workplace transportation, the commute comprises our real and only job.
When I started making these paintings it took up to 4 hours to commute on the train from my home to my cubicle and back again. Hundreds of people I would never know were doing the same thing. I noticed that many of my fellow travelers quickly fell asleep, or turned off, or worse seemed to entirely disappear, adopting a nonexistence beyond anonymity. The scenery too was a blur. Speed disinclined us from admiring anything along the edge of the tracks...But surely a few marvels were hiding there?
So I resolved to pay careful attention, and now when I see something arresting, I get out my digital camera. On weekday mornings, I paint from these snapshots. I find I am happiest working quickly and honestly over a few hours, often in a single session. Since each painting is begun and completed as quickly as possible, I prepare my canvas so that an image can be built up high or wiped all the way down to blankness. That way, the wet paint itself can do some commuting as it moves and mixes together. The picture that results features a transitional time and a place in motion, a sad, overlooked or glorious moment witnessed by me, embedded in an experience we all share.
After each painting session I wash my hands and go to work. In the coming months, I plan to make some paintings about what happens there.
A Community of Artists Show
June 2nd to July 29th, opening 6/14, 6-8 p.m.
123 Union Ave., Framingham, MA 01702