Artist of the Week: Brian Sensebe

Originally from Lima, Peru, Brian Sensebe is an abstract painter living and working in New York City.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I was born in Peru, 1978 and moved to South Florida shortly after. I spent my youth doing street art which lead me to the pursuit of a career in the visual arts. I have been living & working in NY for the past 10 years. My work is mostly processed based abstract paintings with underlying themes of displacement, freedom, chance, & resilience.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? Abstract paintings of pushing and pulling paint. Letting it happen. It’s part me, part nature. I loosely implement my intention and let the materials do the rest.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I use very basic materials, house paint, canvas, wood, paper. A lot of the ideas in my work are based in process, so this is very important to me. The action taken to create it is a big part of the results. With a very loose approach, I search for a balance between my  objective and what the paint does naturally. Its an act of letting go and being free through the adaptability of the paint.

How did your interest in art begin? Making art has always been a mysterious thing to me. The moment you are creating has a certain calming effect on your being. It’s a very primordial thing and I feel it’s connected to your inner child. So I guess my interest in making art began when I was child, and its always been there, as long as I can remember. And we all share this same mystery.

How has living in New York affected your art practice? New York is the greatest city for any type of soul-searching creative person. Hands down. You are surrounded by so much talent that it drives, pushes, and inspires you to create your best work. It may sound overwhelming but the experience it presents you with has a great effect on your creativity.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? Rita Ackermann, Fire By Days at the Journal Gallery in Brooklyn.

What do you do when you’re not working on art? Making music, surfing, or riding my motorcycle.

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? A new idea, a philosophical question, or some sort of dialogue. Or maybe the work itself?

If you hadn’t become an artist what do you think you’d be doing? Nothing. I can’t imagine doing anything else, so I would be doing nothing, living in the mountains dressed as a monk.

What were you like in high school? Loner. Rebel. Artist.