G.Brett Crawford, who has been boating in Olathe, said he doesn’t remember much where local artists display their work.
But times have changed, and the artist and musician who returned to the Kansas City area during the pandemic spent most of August stocking his None More Lonesome painting collection at the Mean Mule Distilling Company. I plan to exhibit. The show kicks off at Crossroads on his first Friday, August 5th.
“I’m overjoyed to be able to do this kind of thing here,” Crawford said. “Growing up, this sort of thing didn’t happen much, or I wasn’t aware of it. There weren’t that many.”
Rediscovering his artistic creativity during the pandemic, the Mean Mule event will be Crawford’s first show and his work will be on display in the distillery’s newly renovated space.
“I’m really proud of all of this and want to share it with everyone in a way that doesn’t invite strangers into my home,” he added. It was a really cool way to team up with and show off this beautiful new room, and they put in so much time and effort.”
Crawford describes his None More Lonesome collection as “street art meets pop art meets tattoo flash.”
click here Check out Crawford’s art and web store. A limited number of prints of None More Lonesome will be available at the first Friday event.
“I think the idea for None More Lonesome was based on the cowboy/cowgirl culture of the American West,” he added. “I like that kind of tragic hero motif, so it makes sense to give the show a title like that and showcase all these tragic heroes.”
A perfect example, he explained, was his drawing, which features a stencil of the tragic comic book girl you might find in a teenage romance cartoon that mimics pop art iconography. Surrounded by images commonly found in tattoo flash culture, such as skulls, roses, leopards, and daggers.
Additionally, handwritten words, halos, dripping paint and splashes echo street art graffiti.
“I think that piece really shows my style,” added Crawford.
The influence of street and pop art from a young age.
Crawford had always liked to draw and scribble, but some of his first art was stencil work, he said. He printed images from his Family computer and used them to create stencils with cardboard and his X-Acto knife.
“We used to call in the buddies and deck them out and have a rock and roll party,” he explained. “I realized later, ‘Oh, this is just an evolution of street art.'” But at the time, I thought it was a completely original idea. But that was sort of the origin of all this. ”
As he got older, Crawford came to appreciate pop art.
“I was a huge Andy Warhol fan,” he added. “And[Robert]Rauschenberg and all of them were really big inspirations for me.”
click here Follow Crawford and his work on Instagram.
Crawford’s creativity goes beyond painting. Music was his first love. He was in a band in college and said it was his dream to join a record label. Although not a full-time gig, he still finds time to perform. He recently performed at Pedro the Lion tribute shows in Kansas City and Lawrence with a variety of musicians he’s played with over the years.
“For me art has always been a companion to music,” he said.
Journalism in high school taught me how to use Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, and I used those skills to create zines for friends about their favorite bands.
“I printed out magazines with school pennies and gave them to my friends,” he said. “I’m going to say, ‘This is the song I’m listening to this month,’ and I’m going to start my own maximum rock’n’roll.”
Then, at college at the University of Kansas, I considered majoring in journalism and printmaking.
“I was really into making merch for my band,” he continued. “I’m in charge of all T-shirt design. Making rip-off shirts was the style 10 years ago. So instead of DARE, it was our band’s acronym.
Crawford’s friends encouraged him to apply to art school and helped him with a portfolio for the application, but music was still his goal.
“I never applied because I was like, ‘Well, I have to pay for all this stuff. And if I had to go to school for another year, I wouldn’t want to go to school. So I didn’t do it, but I use all that experience as a freelancer for other people, creating t-shirt designs, graphic designs, etc. Did.”
In a moment that came full circle, it was music that inspired him to make his own art again.
“I haven’t really painted or painted in a long time,” he explained. “I moved to Chicago in 2014 and worked for a marketing agency. I really fell in love with the visual medium, so I had to make all these cool friends who were screen printers and visual artists and go to their studios and hang out.”
After the pandemic hit and he couldn’t go to shows all the time, he started painting again.
“Immediately, I was like, ‘I’m going to buy paint online and I’m going to buy canvas,'” he said. “Another very good friend of mine told me that he stretches his canvas and mixes everything with his own paints. We held a stretch party and got 3 canvases.
Finding his voice again through painting was a step away from what he had done on stage before, and it included building the courage to start sharing his art with friends and on Instagram.
“My wife has been really encouraging,” Crawford continued. “It was New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and she was like, ‘I just need to share this because things are starting to pile up in the house. And if you’re not going to share it, then what? You will have to do something.
Crawford currently works as Senior Social Manager for MMGY Global, but still takes time to share his art with his hometown.
“I was welcomed home with open arms,” he said. “I have found the community of people who are interested in what I do to be very strong and really supportive. There’s so much going on that I’ve never really understood or just didn’t know where to look.”