"Shady Characters" artist profile: Brian Colin

Today, we have our second of seven artist profile/interviews with Shady Characters art show contributor Brian Colin, who gives us an exclusive look into his amazing new sculptural piece titled "Reaper"! This show is featuring a cast of 7 artists who include: Matthew Ryan Sharp, Project Detonate, H.C. Warner, Ben Walker, Tyler Coey, and Toby Stanger, and is set to go down on August 6, 2010 from 7pm - Midnight at Alcove Gallery in Atlanta. Take a minute, and get to know these artists as we ramp up for what promises to be a great show!

For those unfamiliar with you and your work can you tell us a little about yourself and your craft?
I've been creating stuff for as long as I can remember... but the how and the what that I create seems to change and evolve on a pretty regular basis. That being said, I'll touch on what to expect from me for this show. For a few years now I've been both customizing toys and working on canvases as well, the more that I do I find myself enjoying seeing the dimensional pieces come to life. With custom toys its rare that I would work on anything larger than a foot tall and I found it very easy to look at the finished piece and be like, yep that was once a piece of plastic. What I really want is someone to look at it and wonder what parallel universe did this ridiculous creature wander in from. So for this show I have gone bigger with a menagerie of fantastical creations.

With Shady Characters being the title of the show, how does your work represent this theme?
My pieces for this show may look more animalistic and reptilian, but there are definite human elements to them that come across as a little on the shady side. These characteristics can be seen in the posture of some of the parasitic creatures that are uncomfortably co-existing on one body.

Is this a theme that is regularly seen in your work?
The shady aspect isn't, but the parasitic theme has been running through my pieces over the past year. I think there were 2 things that really hit me right about the same time when my wife Kerry was pregnant with my sone Wyatt. Sometime last fall we were watching a show "Monsters Inside Me," I was horrified but couldn't look away either. The idea of parasites just living inside of people and then I started thinking my son was a little parasite and it made me start incorporating more than one creature into a character at a time.

And lastly on the Shady Character front, do you see yourself as a Shady Character?
Not at all, but I'm sure folks just looking at me might think so if they don't take any time to talk to me. One of the things I used to love to do years ago in college when I had a giant red mohawk was to hold the door at stores for older folks. Sometimes its fun to confuse peoples assumptions.

Do the subjects in your pieces represent you or anything that you are going through?
It'd be hard not to incorporate themes from life into my work. It seems though it would be difficult for anyone to know it just from looking at a piece. I'll go through "Reaper" from the show to shed a little of the abstract way of relating. First thing that is pretty easy to pick up on is the tattoo on the neck of the beast "Reap what you sow" my son was born last November and now I am reaping the benefits of having an amazing experience being a father. Next up he has a shell similar to a turtle's on his back the idea of both a home that is always with you and having armor that protects you are underlying concerns that I think about on a regular basis. Shelter and safety seem to be something that I want to provide to my creations. Lastly the bugs that have created a hive inside of the Reaper represent the constant worker bee spirit that is inside of me. Their hive is very organized and structured which is similar to how I run my design business, but the bugs seem scattered and chaotic which is how I often feel making time for running a business, ensuring I have plenty of family time and satisfying my creative needs with painting and sculpting.

What else do you have going on in the near future that you would like to let folks know about?
At the beginning of September I will have a table at DragonCon again and I plan to have a bunch of mini-figures that I have hand-cast available as well as other art. Then after that I think the last part of the year is going to slow down a little bit for me as I try and present this new direction in my work to galleries to try and generate some interest for 2011.

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