While in graduate school, Brianna Angelakis was asked by a teacher to consider “ripping up her paintings and throwing them away” in an attempt to free her from the restraints of paint and canvas. Taking this idea to heart, but not taking it literally, Brianna began illustrating what tearing up everything she’d done and worked for as an artist would look like. The results are her Downside Up series.
Brianna creates self-portraits that depict both present and past, reality and fantasy. In each drawing, the artist appears haunted by the remnants of past ideas. Your eye is constantly moving through these sweeping whirlwinds of clothing and canvas, baskets and frames, only to rest on the artist herself playing the dual-role of calming center and eye of the storm. The work offers a private glimpse into the psyche of an artist who’s been told give up on her practiced craft and is discovering the internal “sleeping giant” this advice has awoken in her imagination. Downside Up is a powerful display of concept and execution.
21c Cincinnati is featuring seven medium to large-scale graphite drawings from this series in our current Elevate exhibition. Elevate work is displayed in large vitrines in the elevator lobbies on each of the hotel guest floors. Designed to showcase works by regional artists, the installations change every six months. We developed the Elevate program to introduce Cincinnati-based artists to our guests; it’s a little something extra for those staying the night with us. While not open to the public, if you’re not a guest of the hotel but are interested in seeing the work in person, private viewings can be set up by request.
More information about the artist can be found on her website https://www.briannaangelakis.com/.
Pictured: Brianna Angelakis (American). Presentiments, 2017. Graphite on 100% cotton, acid-free paper.