Born and raised in New Orleans, LA., Brett Reif graduated from Loyola University with a BFA and received his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Reif specializes in non-traditional media wall work, sculpture and installation. Reif’s recent exhibitions have been at the Kansas City Artists Coalition in Kansas City, MO., the Du Mois Gallery in New Orleans, LA., the Art & Design Gallery at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS., and at Studios Inc in Kansas City, MO. His work has also been featured in recent group exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace, the Leedy-Volkous Art Center, and the Weinberger Fine Art Gallery in Kansas City, MO. He has been featured in The Kansas City Star, The University Daily Kansan, kcmetropolis.org, and perversionmag.com.
I use common household materials and surfaces along with raw, natural objects to create drawings, paintings, and sculptures. My work nurtures home materials to embody our stress, conflict, hope and fear. Current themes of flooding, water, melting and overflow are derived from my New Orleans childhood and current events.
I’m influenced by arte povera and artists like Jannis Kounellis. The movement’s use of raw, unsophisticated urban materials and visceral natural objects for symbolic, socio-political and associative narratives is exciting, pertinent & poetic. In my work I keep the materials that I use pure and unmanufactured, while formally “shaping” it to create conflicts between the real and the symbolic. In these conflicts dialogue occurs and the imagination is triggered, becoming visual poetry.
Through sculpted form and imagery I transform common textures into something mysterious and expressive. I sculpt thematic organic shapes and images giving the materials a second life, one that enables a viewer to consider the exotic in the everyday and to converse with their surroundings.