Self-taught and emotionally driven, Brandi Milne’s work speaks of love, loss, pain and heartbreak in the first person. She decorates it oddly with a wink of humor and a delicious candied-coated finish - a combination that can be considered highly addictive to viewers around the world. For her latest body of work at Corey Helford Gallery opening August 11th, Milne’s takes an aesthetically different approach than in previous shows. In 'Before I Hide Away', the SoCal artist refines her palette with muted tones (as opposed to candy-like colors) while every painting is guided by raw emotion during its creation.
In anticipation of her upcoming show, we had a chance to chat with this contemporary painter. Here she talks about the two most important people in her life, Bosch, and what an average day with her is like.
You've described your upcoming show at Corey Helford, 'Before I Hide Away', as a memoir about moving forward and following one's heart in spite of life's challenges. What can viewers expect to see with this new collection of works?
Viewers can expect to see my growth as an artist first and foremost.I've really put everything I had in each of these paintings, I've strived to reach beyond my own expectations and I am very proud of the outcome. Looking deeper, I hope that viewers will see and get a feeling for the emotions of the paintings and will be able to weave their own personal stories into what I've painted.
'How Can I Shine Without You?' is an emotionally charged painting that begins your story and references the two most influential people in your life; your mother and husband. Could you interpret this piece for us and tell us a little about how their support shaped you as an artist?
My mom raised me and my three siblings in the wake of having lost her baby boy (he drowned in their pool). In that, she was very delicate and hurt beyond anything I could imagine and kept us under her wing for as long as she possibly could. She was also very creative and funny and warm and whimsical, so under that wing is where I developed my sense of wonder and was very much inspired by the stories she'd tell and the unique (yet very sad) way she saw the world. She gave me everything in that sense, and that's where I was when I met my husband ~ still under that wing. My husband very gently plucked me from my comforts and showed me that what I had artistically was special. He eased me into the notion that people would be inspired by what I had to express, and helped me see myself in a very different, very capable way. He has encouraged me and inspired me from the very moment we met. Without his love, devotion and support (beyond what I ever dreamed I would find) to this day I would still be hiding away. They both have given me everything and I love them immensely.
What are your ultimate goals as an artist?
To keep reaching past my latest accomplishments. To keep being inspired.
If you could hang only one work from art history in your home or studio, what would it be and why?
Guh, that's a tough one. Maybe The Temptation Of St. Anthony by Bosch. It's so full of excitement and hunger and darkness and I would never get bored of it.
Tell us something about yourself we wouldn't necessarily know.
I love to laugh. I love to be silly. I love to be charmed.
If I were to spend the day with Brandi, what could I expect?
Oooh, on a good day, we could go find new Thrift Stores and search the land for exciting things. Get some fries and shakes and just dig through stuff. But on a typical day, I would ignore you and put on my headphones and get lost in painting. For 8 hours you would just sit there neglected. Sorry. :)
Thanks Brandi! 'Before I Hide Away' opens Saturday, August 11th at Corey Helford Gallery.