Brett Amory, Eclectix Interview 53

brett amory artist eclectix interview


Brett Amory, The Eclectix Interview

Brett Amory creates urban landscapes, lovely smeared and dripping testaments of every day life on our city streets. The mundane and usual become substantial and iconic under his sensitive, expressionistic brushstrokes. The corner store, vacant office buildings and vintage shop facades are transformed into timeless beauty. The lonely human condition – from homeless to commuters, students to shop keepers – all are equally important in Brett’s vision.  Each painting is based on a photograph which he takes on a daily basis while out and about various neighborhoods. He calls this part of his process “documenting” and it is an integral part of his work. His recent paintings are categorized into series – with titles like 24 In London and 24 In San Francisco -  panels which suggest snapshots of 24 hours in each city.   A full-time artist, Brett lives and works in Oakland, California.  




How is photography integral to your work?

 All my work starts with a photograph. I take pictures everyday with my phone.

Can you share an interesting moment during your street photography?

When I first started taking pictures of people on Bart, I had a guy get in my face for taking his picture. It sucked. I felt bad…


brett amory - eclectix


What sparked your journey into working with landscapes and cityscapes?

Not really sure. I have always been interested in capturing those overlooked, everyday, mundane moments.

Do you ever get a desire to change your style?  Would you feel comfortable doing different work? 

I’m always trying new things and introducing new ideas into my work. I like to be subtle with change and take it slow. I think having a cohesive body of work helps with getting representation but I don’t think an artist should do work to fit a market. For me, integrity and making honest work is most important.


brett amory - eclectix


An an interesting bit of history surrounding one of my distant relatives is

My great, great-uncle was adopted by James Madison.

My favorite art memory from my childhood is …

Spending time in my uncle’s art studio at my grandmother’s house. My uncle Ed Roebuck, was a well-known artist in his own right. He made all kinds of work, but he was known for his graphite on board drawings. In the 80′s, he had a solo show in Norfolk, VA. He fell behind on his mortgage, so the bank put a lien on the entire show. He reacted by spray painting X’s over all the work. The Associated Press heard about the show and did a story on it. News spread across the country and he became known as the “X” artist.

Here is a link to his website…


brett amory - eclectix


My interest in art/painting started …

When I was really young and again when I was in my early 20′s.

I am often inspired and motivated by …

Music and film.


brett amory - eclectix


If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be …   

George Segal. And we would shoot the shit. My work is about capturing fleeting moments and I think he is one of the all time best artists at capturing those moments.

The art technique that has helped me the most is ….

Having a will to want to learn how to draw and paint academically and then to try to unlearn and forget about it. I try to be more present with the process and not let preconceived ideas of what a painting should look like, get in the way…


brett amory - eclectix


If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be ..

It would probably have to be a Picasso. I just started appreciating his work a few years ago. Now he’s now one of my favorite artists. He seemed to understand the power of letting go and getting back to that raw state of art making. When I look at his work now, I get a sense of an artist tapping into something that is not of this world.

My current favorite piece of my own art is …  

The next one is going to be pretty good …


brett amory - eclectix


The most memorable thing anyone has ever said to me about my art is …

It’s not you making the work, you’re only the messenger…  My Uncle, Ed Roebuck told me this early on. It always stuck with me.

My ultimate project or fantasy is … 

Make my own town out of my installations.


brett amory - eclectix


I am currently working on …. 

I am about to go to LA to start documenting for “Twenty-Four in LA”. It is part of my Twenty-Four Series

A specific event in my life that sparked a number of my works was …

When I got sober. I was an everyday drinker for over ten years so when I stopped, I was consumed with clarity. I thought I was a serious artist when I was drinking but the only thing I was serious about was drinking. I became a true artist when I stopped…


brett amory - eclectix interview


If I could time travel, the historical era I would like to drop in on is … 

It would probably have to be New York in the 1940′s when the expressionists were making moves. There were some major shifts happening in art and NY was becoming the center.

The last song I choose to listen to was … 

The Melvins version of “Goin Blind”

One of my favorite smells is … 

A museum or gallery filled with oil paintings.


brett amory eclectix interview


One of my (recently) favorite movies/TV shows is …

Fargo, the TV series.

I can’t live without …

Making stuff.

It’s not hip, but I really love …

Thai food.

My favorite part in/of my home is … 

 My home is more like an art studio with a small bedroom. I like my bedroom. It the only place that’s not a mess and is where I get rest.


brett amory - eclectix


If I could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? 

I wish I could transport my studio to Manhattan. The only reason I don’t already live there is space. I love being around art and creativity.

My favorite motto (or quote)  is … 

“Talent – Don’t bother about whether or not you have it. Just assume that you do, and then forget about it. Talent is a word we use after someone has become accomplished.” 

- Richard Schmid.


brett amory eclectix interv



Brett Amory’s Website

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