In Conversation with Kevin Bright: New York, Berlin, and Living in a NYSOM

In Conversation with Kevin Bright: New York, Berlin, and Living in a NYSOM

Photo by Davood Sardarizadeh.

Photo by Davood Sardarizadeh.

Emerging artist Kevin Bright lives and works in New York, and is an urban artist who responds to the visual disorder of the city. Elements such as graffitti and stained sidewalks fascinate and inspire him to create loose, calmly composed digital scans of ordinary objects found on the street. A few selections of his work, primarily photograms from his latest series #SSCCAANNSS, are included in a group show titled 'New York State of Mind' currently on view at Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the show brings together five emerging artists aiming to recontextualize everyday objects and further explore societal mores. Bright's pieces consist of four photograms, where random items are manually manipulated under a scanner to produce neon-like, electrifying compositions. Gallery Gurls talks to Kevin Bright about his new show, what it means to be a New York artist and more. New York State of Mind is on view through May 16 at Rush Arts Gallery. 

Gallery Gurls: Being a NY artist, what does the mantra 'New York State of Mind' mean to you on a personal level?

Kevin Bright: For me it means that regardless of status talent or your personal network anything is possible,  a New York State of Mind is - "dont sweat the small stuff". The journey to achieving your goals have unique stories with them.

'Deluge' and 'Gulf', part of NYSOM at Rush Arts, NYC. Photo credit: Kris Graves

'Deluge' and 'Gulf', part of NYSOM at Rush Arts, NYC. Photo credit: Kris Graves

How do the photograms from your  #SSCCAANNSS series contribute to the dialogue this group show is exploring? 

New York is the constant search and change of "the new" with easy digression. I'm exploring a way to create compositions and landscapes outside of the known artist materials.

"To use litter and objects of no value and with the use of technology create a new image, is one aspect of how New York City functions."

'Untitled' and 'Kingdom', part of NYSOM at Rush Arts Gallery, NYC. Photo credit: Kris Graves

'Untitled' and 'Kingdom', part of NYSOM at Rush Arts Gallery, NYC. Photo credit: Kris Graves

You've spent a significant amount of time in Berlin over the years, how has that city impacted your work? and what have you gained as an artist? 

Many ideas and project proposals that stalled in New York for various reasons, happened organically in Berlin. My first two shows as a curator in addition to my first solo show of my own work happened in Berlin.

"The cultural climate of living in Berlin lets me embrace that there is an alternative to making art about victimhood."

#SSCCAANNSS exhibition at Berlin Photo Collective in Berlin. Photo credit: Ivo Hofste

#SSCCAANNSS exhibition at Berlin Photo Collective in Berlin. Photo credit: Ivo Hofste

Are there any upcoming projects/shows that you're participating in that you can share with us? 

I started a conceptual fashion project called Autobody in 2012 that consists of limited edition wares. There will be some styles available at Pop Souk in May. Future work from #SSCCAANNSS series and mix media art is ongoing, forever.

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