Kirkland Bray is a bit of an outdoorsman whose work is often inspired by scenic, wondrous spots in nature. His newest series of paintings captures the eye with beautiful colors, and mystical environments topped off with a thought-provoking twist.
Bray has been painting what he refers to as “gatherings” for years, subtly combining picturesque scenes he stumbles upon in real life with the realities of the virtual world. Though he never necessarily begins a collection with a specific theme or intention in mind, over the years, these paintings of gatherings became a commentary on the consequences of oversharing in the digital age.
You’ve seen it before: someone you follow embarks on a scenic excursion and simultaneously shows off all the details of where they are, how they got there, and how you can experience it too. Many of us naturally live more publicly through social media, and it got me wondering – are there spaces that social media hasn’t touched? What are the sites we still keep secret?
“During these excursions, I find myself searching for sparks of inspiration in landscapes and quirkiness in nature. Some of these scenes become backdrops, and some I sculpt and alter to fit an obnoxious number of humans.”Kirkland Bray
Bray’s work is truly a gentle observation of the world today and inspires a playful desire for unplugged, secret adventure.
The title, Undisclosed Locations, points out the inevitability of our favorite undisclosed locations becoming public, even when we want to hold them close. And while the concept might sound negative, Bray speaks of it with a fondness — as though he’s recalling his personal favorite undisclosed locations (which he rightfully wouldn’t reveal to me). His appreciation for these enchanting spaces and these moments is evident throughout this collection.
Bray began painting in college but never intended to pursue it professionally. With a degree in fashion design, Bray landed in Los Angeles after school and worked at a coffee house where he had his first art show and sold his first piece. While working at the coffee house, Bray found himself at a local pawn shop where he acquired a vintage leather watch strap and used it for his own watch.
After a wealth of compliments from friends and patrons, Bray and his brother were inspired to start Billykirk: a leather design company. They began by making watch straps and have since expanded to bags, belts, accessories, and other leather goods. The brothers have been running the business together since 1999.
His exhibition will be at Calico until May 22nd, 67 West St, Suite 203, open on the weekends from 1 p.m – 6 p.m.
“Undisclosed Locations is Bray’s first solo exhibition in Brooklyn and will feature a selection of new paintings, mixed media works, and the first release of Calico’s new print series: Calico Editions. This new project will feature a different artist each month with a limited edition 11” x 17” Risograph print, signed and numbered by the artist.”Calico
Keep an eye out for more from Calico soon!