Patterns, Cycles, and Change: Oil Paintings

Artist Statement

I have spent the past two decades traveling throughout the country visiting museums, large cities, small towns, national parks, civil war battlefields, assassination sites, graveyards, and national monuments. I am a lifelong student of the vast profundity of American music as well as a glutton for American history, literature, Western painting, film, comic strips, and cartoons; all of which have consumed my nights and days. These interests and practices are harvested and used within my process to create an intertextuality in the paintings.

Greil Marcus, the American author, music journalist, and cultural critic, writes, “There is no theme richer for the American artist than the spirit and the themes of the country and the country’s history. We have never figured out what this place is about or what it is for, and the only way to even begin to answer those questions is to watch our movies, read our poets, our novelists, and listen to our music… America is the life’s work of American artists because they are doomed to be American.”

Using historical references, literature, popular culture, personal memories, and personal aesthetic as sources, I’m focused on building a group of protagonists that encapsulate such themes as high and low culture, life and death, shape and content, love and loss, evolution and creationism, comedy and tragedy, mark and expression, and fame and anonymity.

Brian Cirmo is a nationally exhibiting artist living and working in Albany and Syracuse, NY. Recent projects include solo exhibitions at Burrell Roberts Triangle Gallery, Sinclair College in Dayton, OH, and the Rice Gallery, McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. He is the recipient of the 2017 Artist of the Year Award from Albany Center Gallery, Albany, NY.

Cirmo has studied at PrattMWP in Utica, NY, and received a BFA from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, and an MFA from the State University of New York at Albany. He is currently an assistant professor of art at Onondaga Community College.