Galleries > Still Life

The first of several brick and concrete block portraits, this work came about as I began to work in realism using oil paints. In 2009, I saw a blue brick painting by Chris Rush at his show in the Etherton Gallery. A year and a half later, I saw an image of a white brick painted by Odd Nerdrum, online. “The White Brick” (16” x 20” oil on canvas) is now in the Walker Museum. When I first saw this image, it occurred to me that Rush might’ve gotten his inspiration to paint a brick portrait from Nerdrum’s white brick. I assumed that he knew Odd’s piece, although he treated his blue brick entirely different (22” x 33” oil on masonite.)
Since I used common red bricks to keep canvases off the ground as I poured them in acrylics outdoors, I was the proud possessor of an incidentally painted red, white and blue brick. So I couldn’t resist doing a brick portrait of my own. Though my composition is different than the others, the piece is done in the same size and material as the Nerdrum piece. First Nerdrum does a white one, Rush: a blue to follow and then West does red, white and blue; it was inevitable. When I mentioned this to Rush in an email, he responded that “he loves the way ideas get around.”

Don West 01/12

realism, photo realism oil on canvas still life
Red, White and Blue Brick
16" x 20"