Drury Brennan

My work entertains and explores a wide variety of themes through various media, butmy most recent work involves the act of writing. We are transitioning from a culture of material tangibility to one that is distant and screen-based, and in the process losing a power that once asserted proof of man’s evolution past animal: our handwriting. Calligraphy, as it has existed in Asian cultures for centuries, is a union between spirit, art and idea. Essential in form and presentation, it distills meaning into an ultimate representation of things both timeless and ethereal. Even if the poetic meaning of letter or character-forms aren’t exactly understood, the light contained within the act of the writing shines through to us. Graffiti has evolved from a rogue urban sport into a ubiquitous popular form of writing over decades, but it exalts values by virtue of its circumstance and context that disconnect the beauty of writing from meaning and poetics. The calligraphic project that I’ve undertaken is manifold in intents and investigations, a gradual blossoming of ideas that interweave. Influenced by the dominant styles of graffiti that I grew up with in Los Angeles in the early 90’s, I use Roman letterforms as a guide for rhythmic de-and-reconstruction of form. Keeping the color palette roughly monochromatic is a reference to Asian calligraphy, tagging and pichacao, the sharp, angry graffiti of the poor in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The shared aesthetic sentiment between all these writing styles is one of form boiled to its essence and conviction through gesture, an abandonment of adornment.I write short-form poems with these wild letters, meditations on everything from nature to the news, and, in tandem, write them legibly in a journal for reference and record. Where do writing and art intersect if not cross over each other? Does graffiti have to be on a wall to be considered graffiti? We know graffiti that looks like calligraphy is calligraffiti, but what is calligraphy that looks like graffiti? Can new traditions of art and writing emerge from an experimental biodiversity?We are still conducting the experiment and writing down our observations.