Brian Tull

Artist Statement

Headlights on a two-lane highway, bright sun rays through trees, trains on a rainy night. They come from small towns and large towns. I saw one when you passed by on the street; I heard one in a 1930's bluegrass song; in the gospel spoken by the preacher on Sunday morning. Ideas and inspiration for my paintings come from the past and present, from all things nostalgic. Like a songwriter flirting with words, I manipulate paint to dictate my story, capturing moments from an era when things seemed simple, more genuine and honest.

My strategically cropped paintings are sometimes confrontational and often feature the female figure as protagonist, giving you a subtle glimpse into the characters' lives. Usually leaving you wondering what's just beyond the edges, you might find yourself squinting to see what's being reflected in the gleaming chrome in some of my pieces. The compositions range from graphic-oriented realism with images rich in unmixed color and bound by hard edges, to true photorealism using original photographs as source material. Staging the photograph for the painting reference is essential, as I rarely change anything throughout the painting process. Everything must be period correct.

I'm pulled to photorealism because it makes the viewer notice things they wouldn't notice in real time, especially with my work being large-scale and detailed. A painting freezes movement, reflections. Photorealism is a well-suited vehicle for capturing moments that occur with little notice, but are nonetheless revealing in their narrative. Painting in this style forces me as the artist to look beyond the subject matter; to just let a face be an object, or a car just a block of color. In the end, the story will be seen and told.

For me, my paintings are about making the acrylic, oil and brushes work. They're about me constantly improving technique. They're about interest of composition and technicalities. For you, I hope my paintings arouse a memory or feeling from within. I hope you allow them to create a story; any story you choose to make up and be a part of. Inspired by life, completed by faith.

Born

March 28, 1975

Selected Exhibitions

2012    The New Real (group), Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN 

2011    Winter's Ebb (group), The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC

2010    ReTune Nashville (group), Soundcheck, Nashville, TN 

2010    Landfill Art Project (An Artist Reclamation Project) (group), International

2010    Summer Sampling (group), The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC

2009    A Wintry Mix (group), The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC

2009    Summer Sampling (group), The Haen Gallery, Asheville, NC

2007    Of Time (solo), Gallery One, Nashville, TN

2006    Warner Brothers Records (solo), Nashville, TN

2006    Watkins College of Art & Design Benefit (group), Nashville, TN

2006    Gibson Guitartown (group), Nashville, TN

2002    University of North Alabama Artist Alumni (group), Florence, AL 

2000-2008    Annually; Arts Alive (group), Florence, AL

2000-2008    Annually; Charish the Kids (group), Nashville, TN

2000    Hanging Around Gallery (group), Nashville, TN 

Selected Collections and Commissions

Brian's work is included in many private, corporate, and institutional collections, including:

Music Voyager, Los Angeles, CA

ASCAP, Nashville, TN

Gibson Guitar, Nashville, TN

Hunters Custom Automotive, Nashville, TN

Quintess Resorts, Palm Springs, CA

YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Nashville, TN