B R E T T A N D R U S
The current exhibition features new and recent works by Brett Andrus.
Brett Andrus is a 39-year-old Colorado Springs native. He studied painting and art history at the Savannah School of Art and Design before returning home to Colorado in 2001. Andrus divides his time between a career in the mortgage industry as a loan originator, ownership of the award-winning art gallery S.P.Q.R., teaching art making and art history, and creating music. Over the last fifteen years, Andrus has exhibited his work in Santa Fe, Denver, Atlanta, New York City, New Orleans, Trinidad and Colorado Springs.
In the past 365 days, I have found the ground under my feet shift and crumble away. Change can be an incredibly scary thing. It can break your bones and leave you lost in the wilderness.
One day you wake up, open your eyes, and all of the ways you thought your life was going to go, all of the truths that you tell yourself are gone. You’re left with a decision to make.
Do you fight, kicking and screaming, lamenting the way things were? Or do you embrace the change and take the opportunity to create a new possibility? In the art-making aspect of my life, I found myself paralyzed with fear early on. The work I was previously making no longer felt real, and I didn’t know what to do. I knew that I still wanted to paint, but I didn’t know why.
I could no longer access what it was that, up until that point, I had spent my career trying to create. Art-making no longer felt valid. It felt like a waste of time. I started to fantasize about a “normal” life. Focusing on my career, coming home at a “normal” hour. Going to bed at a “normal” time. The idea of spending 50 to 60 hours a week in my studio, ignoring friends' requests to have friendships, working a 9 hour day and then painting until 3 in morning--
it all seemed so stupid. I was ready to put the paint brushes down and turn my easel into a coat rack. But then, again, something changed. I learned a powerful idea. I learned that I decide. I decide my worth as an artist. I decide the worth of what I’m communicating. I decide why I paint.
Those two words became the foundation of this body of work in October of 2015. I decided that I needed to challenge myself as a painter, to tackle subjects that I had never painted, and to develop the technical aspects of my work. I found myself drawn to the paintings and ideas of the Pre-Raphaelites, the use of color in William Holman Hunt paintings, the storytelling of John Everett Millais, the technical aspect of John WilliamWaterhouse. Suddenly, (thank you instagram), I also started seeing work by younger contemporary artists all around the world, working in a way that I wanted to work. Artists that embraced their ability to make truly beautiful paintings, throwing away the idea of “meaning” and not relying on an artist's statement to connect their work to the viewer. I decided what I want to be, and how I want to approach art making. This body of work is the first step down that path.