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Meet Brandi Graves

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandi Graves.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born and raised in Houston. Life has taken me to many far away places, but I always find myself back here. I’ve had my issues with this city- sometimes feeling trapped and stuck here, but also feeling loved by and compassion for this place. My work is a reflection of how I’ve come to love this city that keeps finding its way back to me.

Please tell us about your art.
My paintings are in two camps- half of it being very emotional abstracts, and the other being surrealist architectural works. The emotional abstracts are like a meditation for me. I have, like almost everyone else these days, experienced my fair share of anxiety and depression, Painting through these episodes and turning those negative emotions into positive paintings is both cathartic and therapeutic. Through painting, I’ve found that I can transform negative emotions, doubts, and all of those mental abstractions into these physically positive paintings. There are spirals of upward trends, bright colors, sometimes messy but mostly whimsical marks- ultimately I paint what I think is pretty, happy, and light. I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control how I react- these paintings are the way in which I choose to react.

The surreal architectural paintings are my take on place. I have taken the modern architecture of Houston and extrapolated colors, design, and vibe onto them. Our architecture- while beautiful- tends to be monotone. Through my travels, I’ve seen cities that thrived on color, I’ve been inspired by places that aren’t afraid to take risks and be completely as they are. It’s courageous, and that’s exactly what I think it takes to live here in this city. It takes courage to be bombarded by our traffic, to find refuge in our green spaces, and to go to sleep with so much noise. Don’t get me wrong, I love this place, but it has been a process for me to see the beauty in it. Now, I’m in awe walking through neighborhoods, the tropical plants, bold architecture, and little businesses making their own mark. It’s an inspiring place, but I’ve only recently been able to see the light through my work.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success, for me, was the moment I finally owned being an artist. I’ve always had this imposter complex- like I’m not an artist until I have a big giant gallery with tons of patrons- but no. I found that once I started taking myself seriously, others did too. You don’t have to have a ton of Instagram followers or sell a million paintings to be successful; you just have to own it.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work is currently on display at Me’lange Vietnamese Cafe in Montrose. All work is available for purchase.

You can also view my work virtually on Instagram @bngravesart, where you can find more information about prints and upcoming shows. I’m also available for mural work.

Originals and prints are available through my Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/FeelingAndFlow

Thank you for your support!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brandi Graves

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please let us know here.

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