AM DeBrincat: Getting Up Close & Personal
I find your art so intriguing due to the fact that each piece has me searching to uncover the many layers that are used, piece by piece. How many mediums on average do you use in one piece of art?
Each finished painting usually has three mediums - oil paint, acrylic paint, and xerox transfer printing.
But my entire process from start to finish involves more mediums than that. Each piece starts in the computer - I have a huge archive of digital images, many of them my own photos and many that I've collected from online sources. I start by playing in Photoshop, combining up to 40 images into a single digital collage which is the basic "sketch" for the painting. This digital image becomes my road map for the piece. I print out the digital collage in sections, and then use an old-school, archival, DIY printmaking technique called xerox transfer printing to transfer pieces of the digital image onto the surface of the canvas. At this point, the image on my canvas is in black and white. Then I use acrylic paint to add color to sections of the image - a technique similar to how people used to hand-tint old photos. Then the last step - I paint the faces with oil paint.
Are there any mediums you are intimidated by yet would like to experiment with?
I always love expanding my toolbox and trying new things. I recently got interested in gold leaf - I've always loved how delicate and delicious it looks in Medieval altar pieces and I wanted to incorporate it into some of my paintings. It has a pretty steep learning curve because it's so fragile - you have to have a really light touch when handling it and placing it on the canvas. But I taught myself how to work with it (thanks YouTube ;) and it's become part of a few recent paintings. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be with and why?
Picasso - because he struck the perfect balance between ego and wisdom, Rei Kawakubo - because she throws out all the rules and creates things that are surprising and fabulous, and Frida Kahlo - because she knew how to turn her vulnerability into incredible power. I know you were part of a recent group show with Parlor Gallery. How did you connect to Parlor and what is next for you?
Yes, I have six paintings in the group show Pleased to Meet You, which just opened at Parlor Gallery. The show features work by artists new to the gallery like me as well as new work by returning favorites. The show runs through September 11th.
Later this month is the opening of my first solo show in Europe, Hello Sunshine. Hello Sunshine opens at Lohme Art Gallery in Malmo, Sweden on August 25th and runs through September 23rd.
Looking ahead to September, I'll be in a group show at 212 Arts in Manhattan which opens September 8th. I'll also be in a group show at La Bodega Gallery in Brooklyn which opens in late September.
What has been your favorite piece to date? I know this is a tough one to answer.
Yeah that is a tough one! It changes all the time - it's usually whatever I'm working on at the moment. I try to always keep looking forward - I think that keeps the work fresh. Where can our readers learn more about both you and your work?
My website is amdebrincat.com and I'm always posting process shots and updates on Instagram: @amdebrincat