This week we visit the Waterloo studio of Brian Reinker, an American artist and architect who spends his time creating tantalising graphic landscapes.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Ohio. As a kid I always used to draw and sketch and when I was at university I studied art history and the fine arts, painting. It was very satisfying, I had a few exhibitions at the time and it went well, but unfortunately I had student loans to pay and I had to do something a bit more practical. I went on to study architecture and when I came to London I went to the Architectural Association to further my studies. I ended up staying in London and I’ve been here for thirty years working as an architect, interior designer, and on property developments. That career paid the bills, allowed me to travel, etc, but eventually I decided I wanted to get back to fine art again.
It is something I have wanted to do for a very long time and very fortunately I have been able to do it. I found a studio at the Make Space Studios which I share with Benedict Johnson, a photographer and really nice guy. It’s a wonderful space to be in.
Do you find that your career as an architect influences the work you create now?
Completely, 100%. I think that my work is very geometric, quite organised, studied and one of the things I enjoy about the way I am working is that I have to be very precise in what I do, just like architecture you have to be precise, to plan ahead. I find that very satisfying.
Can you tell us about what you are working on at the moment?
There are two projects, I finished one about two months ago and I called it “State my of the Union” series and it is my way of being able to have an opinion of Brexit. I investigated the historic ports of Britain which aren’t necessarily sea ports, but also internal ports and canals. I put together fifteen of these ports in a series of small drawings that have now been combined into one image. It is a discussion about immigration, emigration, things going in and coming out, the freedom of movement; I wanted to be able to graphically explain that.
The other project that I have just started working on is focused on shapes, patterns and backgrounds. I wanted to be able to recreate a shape numerous times exactly, which has led me to to investigate 3D printing. Through the use of 3D printing I have been able to create and get shapes produced and then incorporate them as a sculptural part to my work.
How do you feel about the art that is being produced in 2017?
I am always impressed by the scope of works and ideas represented on the London scene from small galleries to large shows like the recent Frieze.
Its great to see all of those ideas expressed in different ways, and mediums. Its really exciting to see so much bright and vibrant colour again and really well crafted paintings and sculpture. For a while a lot of art seemed hastily thrown together.
Where do you see your art progressing?
I really want to investigate my work with shapes, I want to work bigger, I want to work more on canvas as I have been predominantly working with paper. I am interested in exploring more techniques and working graphically on a large scale.
What drives you to create art?
I wake up in the morning and I have visions in my head about things to do, about landscapes mostly, most of my art is landscape based. I find myself almost having too many ideas sometimes, I have to eliminate some of them, get focused and get to it. I really enjoy the process of sitting, working and creating things.
Name an artist that inspires you.
I am really drawn to Frank Stella, I really like his work in many respects. I find it very pleasing to look at, I like his style and use of colour and the way he transformed over his career but always kept exploring the same ideas.
Come and see Brian's artworks this Winter! Brian will be exhibiting his art in Focus LDN's Winter Exhibition this December 12th-16th at The Menier Gallery, London Bridge.