Thinkspace Projects is honored to present Ezra Brown ‘Trying To Keep It Together,’ our debut solo exhibition with Ezra Brown. In this exhibit, Ezra encapsulates his many experiences, emotions, and feelings using his character ‘Happy the Clown’ as a reflection of himself to portray his message. His character, ‘Happy’, is often portrayed as the opposite of his name in Ezra’s work, as his image is instead used as a way to cope with events in the world around us today. Ezra encourages the viewer to use his work as a device to tap into their own feelings, and connect on an emotional level.
“My creative process is really simple, I feel something sad and I paint and vice versa. Creative ideas usually come from personal emotions. So in reality I’m sharing my feelings with the viewer through my paintings. It’s sort of a visual diary of my personal thoughts.’ – Ezra Brown
Our interview with Ezra Brown shares his most challenging piece, which crime shows he loves to listen to to tap into his creative flow, and which artists had a really deep impact on his art career.
What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?
For this body of work I really wanted to tell a story of a failed relationship and how one deals with the emotional rollercoaster.
Yes this was the first time I actually had someone fabricate something for me. The piece is called ‘I’m sorry’ and it depicts my character having his spirit leave his body. This piece was originally going to be a huge wood cutout but then my friend Carmen Acosta had mentioned to me why not try making the spirit portion a see-through piece that is separate from my characters body? That way it would give it a little more depth and really convey my message. So we bounced around with how it would look and finally I sent out the digital rendering to get fabricated. I honestly was nervous because as an artist you have a certain vision and when you work outside of your circle it’s scary, you never know if that person or company is going to encapsulate that same feeling you have as an artist. I just want to give a huge shout out to Pretty In Plastic they really did an amazing job of capturing the look and feel of what I was going for.
What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?
My days are really unpredictable, my studio is located in my house and honestly sometimes it’s hard to stay focused. I have a 17 year old daughter that I take to school in the morning and then I have to pick her up in the afternoon. So trying to cram in as much time to work on my projects is really challenging not to mention the fact that going back to bed or just lounging on the couch and watching tv has not crossed my mind once or twice. Keeping a schedule helps me really stay on task and my wife also making sure I stick to that schedule is a plus she truly is my boss and runs a really tight ship.
Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?
Funny enough I love listening to old crime shows from the 1930’s like ‘Yours Truly Johnny Dollar’ or ‘Rocky Jordan.’ Honestly I myself don’t know how that all started but I just love the way those actors voices sound and the faint crackling of the radio just soothes me. If I’m not listening to those shows then I’m listening to jazz music it really amazes me how beautiful that music is. I’m mean it tells a story but in sound like take for instance Bill Evans playing those somber notes on Blue Green or Doris Day hitting the perfect pitch on ‘Again’ it really makes me feel a type of way that I can honestly say without a doubt my work comes to life.
What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?
Coming up with the idea for an art piece is what I love. Most of my artwork deals with a lot of emotional struggles and really capturing that feeling is so important to me. Once that’s all said and done then comes the hard part putting that idea onto paper or canvas and bringing it to life. Raw emotions are tough because people know what some sad looks like but making that saddens turn into a melancholic whirlwind is another thing. I really want to dig into peoples own feelings and that takes a whole lot of energy. When you see my work I want you saying to yourself man I can really relate to this.
Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?
My father was my first creative influence, as a child I would sit and watch him paint these beautiful landscapes. I would just marvel at how effortlessly he would create these pieces. As I got older and started exploring my own artistic style I began to look at the works of Windsor Mcay, Ub Iwerks, Max Fleischer, Al Columbia, and of course Walt Disney. All of these artists have had a really deep impact on my career as a creative individual. The craftsman is very evident in their work. Quite honestly they pioneered the way for a lot of the cartoons we see and love today. So I always have strived to have that same level of passion and dedication in my pieces as well.
If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/ be an expert at?
Learning how to speak different languages. I speak Spanish and English but I just feel if I could learn every language I could connect to people on a much more personal level. Especially working with galleries overseas this would be a big help when it comes to setting up shows or even doing projects. For me taking the time to understand someone’s native tongue just shows that person that you truly respect them and want to make them feel comfortable with you.
What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?
Honestly I hope they walk away knowing that the most amazing thing about us as people are our own personal experiences. Whether it be a break up or feeling angry about life or simply just trying to make it through the day without having a nervous breakdown. I want those feelings and experiences to connect us and make us understand we are not alone, we are all going through it together even though sometimes it feels no one is there for us but I see you and I get you.
How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?
Spending time with my family is important to me being an artist most of your time is spent alone creating. So whenever I get a chance to step away from my work I like spending it with them.
I try to take a vacation if possible just to relax and clear my mind. It’s always important to me hitting that reset button once I’ve completed a big body of work. Plus it helps me transition into the next thing I have on my list.
Exhibition on view April 1 – April 22, 2023 at:
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016