Artist Statement


Brown’s oil paintings are naturalistic vanitas reflecting our temporal state of impermanence. They memorialize the landscape and remnants of a high mountain community just outside Los Angeles. Stone chimneys act as markers decaying in snow-trapped forests. These contemporary ruins are evidence of man’s determination to establish himself, but also of the transience inherent in all endeavors of civilization. Thinly painted passages build up to areas over an inch thick, the ephemeral shifting to the substantial, the past tense to the present. Key elements are defined in negative space, suggesting instability. The substrates are deconstructed, riddled with holes, torn, fragmented and broken from traditional formats. These strategies combine to create a fugitive experience of simultaneously beginning and ending without ever coming to form. The work extends haiku poetry’s use of Winter as a seasonal metaphor for death and time of day representing a locale in a life cycle. Broken mirror, mirrored paper, pressed flowers, seashells, antlers, candles and other objects are used for metaphorical, symbolic and spatial-temporal purposes. The paintings provide meditative experiences on the fugitive nature of life reflecting concepts of the sacred and spiritual, animism and interconnectivity while also directly relating historically to traditionally painted vanitas objects and memento mori.

917 494 5763
Los Angeles, CA


Nick Brown is a Los Angeles based artist and curator. Born in England, Brown currently resides in Los Angeles and teaches in the Department of the Arts for UCLA Extension. His work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums nationwide, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2002), The Drawing Center, New York (2002), PS 122 in New York (2005), and the Torrance Art Museum (2014 & 2015). He has received grants from the California Institute of Contemporary Art, the Vermont Studio Center, where he also was awarded a residency and from Artadia in New York. Recent curatorial projects include Werewolf, an exhibition at Charlie James Gallery (February 2016). Brown was awarded the Emerging Curators Award from LACE, Los Angeles, which opened in January 2017. Nick is also a Board Member of the Davyd Whaley Foundation.


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