Blake Brasher grew up in North Pole, Alaska and began painting at age three. He has spent a lot of time studying great paintings—by Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, and Roy Lichtenstein—and says that in order for a painting to be great, it has to offer something new each time a viewer returns. The newness in Blake’s work springs from his playful approach to identity and transformation; in his paintings, abstracted elements that appear unconnected often turn out to be iterations of a single organism or idea, as a seed is to a plant or a caterpillar to a moth.
For Blake, the real fun comes in applying this lens to a society characterized by rapid technological change—where seemingly overnight Facebook, Twitter, and iPhones became ubiquitous. On his canvas, the idea of the iPhone, or any new technology, quickly moves from what it is to what it could become. Thus viewers of Blake’s work might track a line as it becomes a motor in one painting, an omniscient eye in another, and in a final piece, a tunicate that ties itself to a rock and, upon reaching sexual maturity, consumes its own brain.
Blake’s art is internationally collected and publicly and privately exhibited in the U.S., Romania, and Germany. He has studied painting at Harvard and Carnegie Mellon University, and holds a B.S. in Art and Design from MIT (’03). Although his childhood was filled with moves—before he left for college, Blake and his family lived in Oklahoma, Turkey, Texas, Alaska, and Arizona—he has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 1997, where his studio is currently located. Blake’s primary interest is painting, but he is also an accomplished robotics engineer, owner of a screen-printing company called Solid State Circus, and has had a decade long career as a living statue street performer. If you have spent much time in Cambridge, MA you may have seen his White Angel in Harvard Square.