Brian Driscoll grew up on a small sheep farm in rural Ohio. Every month, his grandmother, a teacher, would bring home giant sheets of paper that she had used as the background for her bulletin boards. Sprawled out on his grandparent’s cellar floor between the shelves of canned tomatoes and jars of homemade peach jam, he would draw on these makeshift canvases. Today, he still works on the floor of his studio drawing on large rolls of paper to create intricate ink on paper figure drawings.
Through drawing, he creates Midwestern mythologies exploring aspects of masculinity in working-class rural America. The repeated mark making and diluted colors become a drone across the work to represent the monotony and helplessness of daily life. Imagined fantastical interior spaces are paired with a nude figure, hidden but in plain sight, exposed but unnoticed. The patterns of the wallpaper serve not only as decoration but also as a barrier, keeping the viewer at bay or trapping the figure within his reality. Cultural references range from vernacular to the esoteric within the work. There is a collapsing of fantasies into a single flat surface. The fantasies of sexuality and domesticity remain separate, the work becomes a metaphor for the conflict between sexual desires and societal expectations, a struggle all too well-known by many men in the heart of conservative America.
Brian received a BA in Visual Art from Columbia University. In 2018, he will receive his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been shown nationally and has been collected internationally. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.