Braque Miro

TALKS TO OUR CRE­ATIVE DI­REC­TOR, JOE GREAVES- LORD, ABOUT HIS WORK

The Snobby Runway - - Contents -

Braque Miro, named by his fa­ther af­ter two of his favourite artists - Ge­orges Braque & Joan Miro - is a 27-year-old, self taught, con­tem­po­rary artist from the south coast of Eng­land. His par­ents moved there shortly be­fore he was born; his fa­ther from New York and his mother, who is of Na­tive Amer­i­can de­cent, from Rhode Is­land.

Grow­ing up, Braque never re­ally thought about his tal­ent as an artist, ‘It was just some­thing I did since I can re­mem­ber,’ he tells me, ‘There were al­ways lots of great art books around the house grow­ing up that I’d copy works from and make my own ver­sions in dif­fer­ent styles.’

Al­though he has, of course, been influenced by many artists; from the metic­u­lous and painstak­ing de­tail of M.C Escher, who fas­ci­nated Braque grow­ing up, to the Ital­ian Masters, his name sake, Miro, and the Span­ish greats Gaudi and Pi­casso, who he still finds so in­trigu­ing. He also came to love the work of pop artists Mel Ramos, Roy Licht­en­stein, James Rosen­quist, Tom Wes­sel­mann and Richard Hamil­ton. Stylis­ti­cally, what has for­mu­lated is a re­sult of all of these dif­fer­ent in­flu­ences that he learnt from and ad­mired from a young age.

‘When I was a kid I never used colour, just pen­cil, and I worked very pri­vately un­til I got it right. Even then I was very se­lec­tive about who saw it and was re­served in show­ing any­body.’ Today though, he’s the op­po­site. It’s all about bright colours and he wants to share his work with any­body and ev­ery­body, be­cause he thinks ‘Art is for ev­ery­body and it’s ev­ery­where in our ev­ery­day lives.’

Nowa­days he works pri­mar­ily with acrylic paint, usu­ally on can­vas or card and some­times wood, or any­thing else he finds in­ter­est­ing or rel­e­vant for a par­tic­u­lar project or piece. Re­cently he’s been pro­duc­ing a few pieces he calls ‘Art Im­i­tat­ing Art’, which are tongue in cheek ref­er­ences to fa­mous artists and art­works. For ex­am­ple his ‘Flat­u­lent Child’ piece refers to Keith Haring’s ‘Ra­di­ant Child’. ‘They’re all just ideas I had that made me laugh so I hope it gives oth­ers a smile too,’ he says.

As well as this, he was re­cently asked to pro­duce art­work for a movie com­ing out this sum­mer called ‘Back In Busi­ness’, a se­quel to the hit film ‘The Busi­ness’. The film is set in Ibiza in the 90’s so it was per­fect out­let for him to throw some bright colours to­gether and get a re­ally nice feel to it.

Braque is cur­rently paint­ing on var­i­ous grains and be­spoke dyes of Bavar­ian Bull hide. It’s a beau­ti­ful ma­te­rial not only to look at but also to feel and it has a real air of lux­ury about it. The sub­jects and styles of the pieces he’s ex­per­i­mented with so far are all rel­e­vant not only to the ma­te­rial but to the grain (whether fine or full) and the in­di­vid­ual colours of the leather. ‘I re­ally like the raw, free, ex­pres­sive and sim­ple ap­proach with these, they’re about the in­di­vid­ual marks, the brush­strokes and how they com­pli­ment the grain of the hide and the over­all piece.’ He’s go­ing to be pro­duc­ing some large scale pieces on Bull hide as well as re­leas­ing a line of t shirts this spring that will all fea­ture hand-painted, hand-cut, and hand-sewn leather pock­ets. All of which are unique, orig­i­nal and wear­able works of art.

I ask Braque where he sees the art world mov­ing, ‘It’s funny you ask me this, around Christ­mas time I was in a West End bar talk­ing with an older gen­tle­man, he asked me what I did and I told him I’m an artist. He then ex­plained how his wife was in the de­sign in­dus­try, and said to me, ‘I’m sorry to tell you this, and I’ve told my wife also, but you’re fucked. You’re all fucked.’ He then went on to talk about dig­i­tal in­flu­ence, and we dis­cussed David Hock­ney’s exhibit of dig­i­tal works, £5 logo de­signs on­line etc, etc. ‘How­ever…’ and I sang in my best Marvin Gaye voice, ‘There ain’t noth­ing like the real thing, baby!’ then went on to ex­plain how there will al­ways be a de­mand and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for real, hand made things made with hours if not years of trial and er­ror, crafts­man­ship, pas­sion, blood, sweat and tears, by real hu­man be­ings that are ex­cep­tional at what they do. That per­sonal touch, all these great things that tech­nol­ogy can­not re­place, which ap­plies to so many dis­ci­plines. And that ex­tends to most other things like con­ver­sa­tions, food, sex… Ain’t noth­ing like the real thing right? He agreed.’

Braque also be­lieves that art is a great in­vest­ment. ‘In most cases, es­pe­cially if you are start­ing a col­lec­tion, it will only ap­pre­ci­ate in value and you don’t need a for­tune to be­gin. You can pick up things like limited edi­tions, smaller size orig­i­nals and sculp­tures by many great artists for as lit­tle as £100. For a few thou­sand you can be­gin with some very es­tab­lished house­hold names. Plus it’s fun, you never know which artists or pieces will se­ri­ously ap­pre­ci­ate in value. Buy on in­stinct. Buy what you love. If it makes you feel some­thing, if it makes you feel great, makes you smile, laugh or even cry then buy it.’

His favourite piece he cre­ated him­self is called ‘Lion & Cub’. ‘I think most liv­ing things can re­late to it, not just peo­ple. Not only the warm colours from the ‘sun­set’ dye of the Bull hide, but the re­la­tion­ship, the power of it. The de­meanour of the two an­i­mals, the love and the pro­tec­tive and pro­tected na­ture of it. I re­ally en­joyed us­ing the pal­let knife to create a great tex­ture with it too, and fi­nally, most im­por­tantly, it was re­ally made from the heart.’

More of Braque’s work can be found at: www.valen­zaart.co.uk

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