gavan kearney

  • Katherine Brannock in La Jolla

    If you don't own any artworks by Katherine Brannock, you may want to buy an original while they're still within your grasp - or at least a signed and framed print. Put it on the wall, sit back, and let your mind go wherever her incredible imagination and boundless talent takes you. Try to decipher what was going through her mind during each drawing session. Was there one continual flow of inspiration based on a preconceived concept, or did the composition take new twists and turns at each sitting?

    There is a quantitative brilliance to a highly evolved technique such as Kathy's. Her best works come to life with grace, intrigue, and nuance as she wills them into existence with her dashing left hand. I know for a fact that she puts many, many hours into her art, and it shows. The results truly reflect what Mark Passio so clearly and simply defines as 'wisdom' in this video - namely, that it is the synthesis of intelligence1 and action.

    Little has been put in writing about what fuels Kathy's amazing abilities, an intelligence honed by a highly inquisitive mind and countless hours of reading, study, and practice at her craft. She draws from a deep well of knowledge of a diverse range of subjects, including ancient history, mythology, symbolism, the mathematics of attraction (fibonacci, golden ratio, so on), and the science of color theory, to name but a few. The interviews I've seen with her have (unfortunately) largely overlooked these deeper influences, and have really missed out on a golden opportunity to bring the reader inside Kathy's world and explore what makes her tick. Perhaps yours truly will pick up that ball and run with it soon.

    Regardless of subject matter, I am always engaged by art this technically brilliant. I see dedication to one's craft as essential to any true work of art. One could argue that Pollock had technical brilliance. I think that's an affront to true talent, but hey, that's just me. For an excellent exposé on this topic, watch this thought provoking 30 minute video, and be sure to support Jan Irvin's excellent website here (there is some penetrating discourse on the topic in the comments section once you have logged in).

    Kathy recently finished a nearly two year apprenticeship at Guru Tattoo in San Diego. While I'm personally not a big fan of tattooing - I find the human form to be a finely crafted work of art unto itself -  it would not surprise me in the least to see her soon become one of the most sought after tattoo artists in the world. She has also been commissioned for an upcoming fall show at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles. Click here for more on Kathy's rising career. I understand she has a children's book planned, and it will surely be a highly prized addition to the bookshelves of many inquisitive young people with discerning parents.

    Last of all, if you found any of the above links interesting, here is another brilliant presentation by Gavan Kearney2 that covers some of these subjects in greater detail.


    Framed Duotone Triptych by Katherine Brannock

    Duotone Triptych by Katherine Brannock, part of the author's collection


    1 a byproduct of intellect and imagination, more from Passio here

    2 Kearney's synopsis:

    Part one ("State Of The Art") is largely concerned with the process by which to the "content" (the actual work of Art) has been all but dismissed at the expense of the "context" (what the work is supposedly about), contrasting content- rich work (Mallarme. Verlaine, Debussy) to that which is all but devoid of content (Martin Creed, Michael Craig Martin). I believe the Symbolist movement to be of crucial importance to the development of Modern Art (though it has largely been overshadowed by the "realist" line; Impressionism, Expressionism, Abstraction etc) and how, through it's use of Nuance and suggestion, and it's concerns with the mythological, spiritual and even occult (Huysmans, Wilde), provided a final, if majestic, resistance to the cult of utilitarianism, materialism  and, essentially- anti imaginative. I also examine how the cult of personality has been employed (with Van Gogh as an example) to present a notion of Great Art (and "true" expression) as being almost entirely painful and alienating and how this has lead to the sham anti- Art of The Turner prize fiasco and the insults of Tate Modern.