Artist Statement

Inspired by how the universe is made of repeated bits of the same thing, through repetition, pattern, symbolism, appropriation and relationship; my work tends to explore the expressive capacity of agglomerate forms. Creating from simplified marks, sampling bits of society, I aim to bring value to what's been disregarded. As a proletariat, African American male I work to shine light on forms society often overlooks.

Through observations of nature; I’m interested in how systems -using the intuitive creative process- provide experiences through generating organic expressions. Generally the subjects of the work are reflections of my experience. Growing up with relatively few resources, being an African American, I’m interested exploring my cultural identity through creating work stemming from folk, African and American traditions. Repetition and symbolism serve as a forms of cultural and subconscious expression. Through this work, I use art as a vehicle to question social and environmental practices while also documenting our times.

A tree falls in the forest and eventually flowers and new life flourish from its decomposed trunk. What do contemporary artifacts say about us and our society? With an abundance of material and space how large can we create? I'm interested in how art improves the environment and our general quality of life. How can art be used to clean our streets and parks, and inspire the next generation? How can art, create places for people to gather and experience culture and awe akin to walking through nature? How does surface relate to projection and what does trash, plastic or eco art have to offer light? Imagine a future where the countryside is dotted by massive trash pyramids, blooming with flowers and buildings are covered with found objects, swaying in the wind like vines of english ivy.


Calvin Brett’s work is in the permanent collection of North Carolina Central University's Art Museum. He has completed an installation at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina and has been a resident at Perkins and Wills and the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. While studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Tufts, his work appeared in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His first Solo exhibition was at Lump Gallery in Raleigh, NC. It's also been displayed at the Heath Gallery in Harlem, New York; Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in various other parts of North Carolina. He's assisted Patrick Doughterty and Don Kimes on public installations and served on Durham, NC's Public Art Committee. He was a founding member of Pleiades co-operative Gallery in Durham, NC. Brett's work has been mentioned on Art F City, Indy Week, Mechanical Dummy, and he was interviewed about the assemblage process on KGZR 98.9 Santa Fe.