The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

Steve Brudniak

Received July 26, 2011
Born 1961, Topeka, Kansas; lives in Austin

Figure 20. Steve Brudniak, That Which is Within You (Gnosis Stela), 2014

Assemblage with melted coins from the 2011 Texas wildfires, antique
Motorola radio dial, antique barometer casing, antique brass-plated
picture frame, antique carved rose marble with Aramaic text engraving,
1930s high jump medal, brass kitsch relief figure, constructed brass bar
stock framework, and phenolic base, 28" × 10" × 4"

Courtesy of the artist

Collection of Jess H. Beal

Photograph: Jess H. Beal

Q Why do you call yourself a Surrealist? Why haven’t Surrealism and other “isms” and movements necessarily been superseded by the next big thing?

A From the time of my childhood I have had a way of looking at things, describing things to myself, that didn’t seem to mesh with the way others around me create associations. Places have a feel that might correspond to a person or object for me. Numbers and letters all have a distinct color in my mind (something I use as a memory device). I think my capacity for subconscious referencing of events and things might just be a bit extravagant.

The beauty I see in an object or artwork may have little to do with the actual subject matter or concept. So the associations I make, the jolt I get from them, will take its power from the visual connection to some deeper place in my brain. The surrealistic approach of assembling works from an automatic and not-so-linear mental process is just something that I have always had a proficiency for, and so much of my favorite art comes from the Surrealists.

Although many of my pieces have distinct conceptual meanings, the process for making them parallels the surrealist method and the finished pieces just fall into that realm, in my opinion.

Unfortunately I think Surrealism has been superseded by the next big thing, as that seems to be the trend of the last century. I think the tendency to discover something new and jump into the next “ism” ASAP is a shallow effort exacerbated by the institutions and curators, ever hungry to be the first to introduce something new. I think we have skipped over a myriad of stylistic possibilities, drowned in the race to discover a new way to define fine art. What with Dada and Abstract Expressionism and the overabundance of Conceptualist work dominating the “cutting edge” spaces today, the gestation of Surrealism and other movements, I believe, ended prematurely.

-31-

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The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Margaret Adie 9
  • Helen Altman 12
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz 14
  • The Art Guys- Michael Galbreth 17
  • Jack Massing 19
  • Frances Bagley 22
  • Karin Broker 25
  • Maureen Brouillette 28
  • Steve Brudniak 31
  • Margarita Cabrera 35
  • Eugene W. R. Campbell Jr 38
  • Danville Chadbourne 40
  • Claire Cusack 46
  • Robert Dampier 48
  • Roberto del Rio 51
  • Martin Delabano 54
  • Vernon Fisher 58
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock 60
  • Vincent Hannemann 62
  • Ann Harithas 66
  • Dana Harper 69
  • Joseph Havel 71
  • Tracy Hicks 73
  • Paul Horn 77
  • Otis Huband 79
  • Christopher Hynes 81
  • Barbara Irwin 83
  • Joy Jenkins 85
  • Norman Kary 89
  • Mimi Kato 93
  • Sharon Kopriva 96
  • Laura Jean Lacy 98
  • Marilyn Lanfear 101
  • Lance Letscher 104
  • Ken Little 106
  • Bert L. Long Jr 111
  • Jesse Lott 115
  • Edward Lane McCartney 117
  • Mary McCleary 121
  • Leila McConnell 124
  • Kelly O’Connor 127
  • Mari Omori 129
  • Kathleen Packlick 131
  • Angelica Paez 134
  • Kevin Parmer 136
  • Forrest Prince 139
  • Russell Prince 142
  • Dario Robleto 144
  • Aaron Roe 147
  • Jonathan Rosenstein 149
  • John Mark Sager 151
  • Joel Sampson 154
  • Ward Sanders 156
  • Luke Savisky 158
  • Kelly Sears 163
  • Al Souza 165
  • Julie Speed 167
  • James Michael Starr 169
  • Henry Stein 173
  • Gary Sweeney 175
  • Cecil Touchon 177
  • Patrick Turk 181
  • Janet L. Waldrop 184
  • Debbie Wetmore 186
  • Steve Wiman 188
  • Sources and Further Reading 191
  • Index 199
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