Mixed media artist Lauren Brevner paints eclectic and fantastic portraits of women ornamented with a collage of Japanese motifs.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Lauren Brevner grew up in a mixed heritage family rich with culture and inspiration. In 2009, she moved to Osaka, Japan in hopes of reconnecting with her roots.
“My time in Osaka took place before I was an artist. I began to teach myself how to paint once I moved back to Vancouver at the end of 2011. Moving to Japan on my own with no family and being so young really forced me to be introspective. I came to truly understand who I am and who I needed to be. It was extremely tough at times – living paycheck to paycheck in a shoebox of an apartment. I grew up a lot and quickly. I finally came to the decision of being an artist when I returned home. Osaka gave me direction, focus, and inspiration to last me a lifetime and I’m forever grateful for that experience. New York was much more about growth and experimentation and developing a voice as an artist. It’s such a vibrant city, quite like Japan, but so totally different at the same time. Also, being from Vancouver (a city with an underdeveloped art scene / culture), it was so wonderful getting to meet so many passionate and creative people. Once again, it just solidified my direction and purpose. In Japan, I left behind my personal stigmas and insecurities; in NYC, I gained my artistic confidence and voice.” – Lauren Brevner
Selecting wooden panels rather than treated canvas, Brevner looks towards the past when making her works of art. Her angelic portraits artistically merge oil and acrylic paint with glossy resin and glimmering silver and gold leaf. These applied materials add luster and luminosity to her work, reminiscent of Klimt‘s unique glow.
This distinctive complex procedure is combined with a collage of Japanese chiyogami, yuzen, and washi paper on wooden panels. Brevner draws influence from the stylistic aspects of traditional Japanese art and culture. She seeks to reinvent the eloquent tradition of using gold and silver leaf in art.
Her paintings generally involve the interpretation of female portraiture. The women convey strength and femininity through sombre silence. Lauren Brevner seeks to develop a commentary as regards to women and their representation in art throughout the ages. Her portrayal of women serves to empower rather than objectify: a reflection of the vitality of sensuality over sexuality.