If there’s one thing Brett Amory isn’t doing right now, it’s waiting. Debuting this month at The Outsiders gallery in Newcastle, UK, Amory’s new collection Waiting 101 explores in its subject matter the everyday quiet often lonely moments in life, through the very social medium of art and technology. Amory is best known for his Waiting series, which has spanned the last decade and delves deep into the shared psyche and simplicity of city life. But for now, he’s not waiting. He’s launching the collection in Newcastle, jetting around Europe, and putting up some seriously cool works along the way. Warholian finally caught up with him to speak with him about the exhibition.
“This show is documenting my everyday day to day,” he tells me. “My everyday experience and how it crosses over into others’.” Focused on landscapes and people in the Bay Area, and documenting them through the immediacy of technology never too far from his fingertips, Amory captures very real and subtle moments of a city dweller’s experience.
We all find ourselves doing it, whether it’s for the train, the rain, the sun, the job, the call, the girl, the guy—or both? For the past ten years Amory has been exploring the concept of waiting, through several different techniques and building from a vast repertoire of artistic experience. The series is an evolving, living document of his daily life, following often isolated figures in shapes and shadows, making compelling use of negative space.
The artist’s progressing inspiration, from his series based on the curios anonymity of passport photos and the printing techniques of a modern copy shop, to the delicate realism of painting on wooden panels and even taking aspects of Picasso’s cubism, Amory’s evolution as an artist has turned out a unique and breathtaking perspective.
The simple but sometimes profound act of waiting has been the focus of Amory’s maturation as an artist and technology has only helped to enhance that development. “Technology is always a part of the process,” the artist, who makes use of his iPhone’s camera and the app Instagram (recently bought by FaceBook for one billion dollars) to settle on which subject matter to paint. “But the challenge is not letting technology control the painting. I’m not mimicking what a computer can do, I am using the computer as a tool available to me in the way David Hockney used a fax machine to make art.”
In fact, the process is a major role in the aesthetic of Amory’s work. From photography to Photoshop, experimentation with printing and ultimately painting, Waiting 101 is a collection that conveys deep emotion through very stylized methods. He explains that while formal art education teaches how, it cannot teach the concept behind it.
Through his decade-long experimentation with his subject matter, he admits, “I used to look at the aesthetic of a piece first, but have learned since then that there’s so much more to art. How it’s made is more important, because your viewer is forced to focus.”
In this collection, the viewer is forced to focus on a common but overlooked theme in modern society, the anticipation of the next moment. Through his career Amory has been searching to give voice to the anonymous and familiar characters whose lives intersect with his on the regular. But Waiting 101 approaches this subject matter having closely intertwined these characters with everyone’s lives. Just follow Brett Amory on Instagram to see the digital snippets of a Bay Area commute, the homeless man standing on the same corner every evening, the woman waiting wispily for the bus, and you can actually play a role in the subject matter he chooses to paint. Technology has afforded him an easy spontaneity and immediacy that can connect the emotion behind a moment to a wider audience.
Its something he himself has gone through, and most of us face at some point in our urban lives—the sense of isolation among a crowd. Over the past ten years, Amory tells me he has been, “experimenting, trying out different ways of putting together images and asking myself, ‘What am I about?’ without getting too caught up in the recognition or what people are talking about.”
But for now, the waiting is over for this internationally acclaimed artist. People are definitely talking about Waiting 101.
– written by Aimee Dewing with photos by Michael Cuffe for Warholian
For more on ‘Waiting 101’ at The Outsiders gallery visit: http://www.theoutsiders.net/
Visit Brett Amory’s official website here: http://www.BrettAmory.com
Follow Brett Amory on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/BrettAmory