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Out of the Mainstream: Brooklyn meets Portland…. Week 4: Beau Chamberlain

Sunday, March 7, 2010 · No Comments

Beau Chamberlain is a Brooklyn-based artist whose semi-abstract paintings are rooted in biology and infused with kaleidoscopic color and sci-fi visual punches. Beau is originally from Portland and has lived in Brooklyn for the past 10 years.

How would you describe your work?

Fantasy based semi abstract landscapes.

What are, in your opinion, the greatest challenges of being an artist today?

Juggling the role of business person vs Artist. It’s no longer the days of New York past where you could live on nothing and make your work without a $600 a month studio. You have to figure out how to make work you can live with but still allows you enough financial gain to keep making work. It’s hard to when you have multiple people telling you what they think is successful about your work to find your own opinion of what you think is successful. Its really easy to fall into the hole of replication. Studio practice is everything and you just have to keep working at your craft. So many artists just can’t keep making work when they don’t have a deadline to push them.

What accomplishments/ works of art are you most proud of?

I’m super critical about my work so it’s hard to pick a painting that I like for very long after I finish it. I’m just happy that I have continued to make work through this market slump and that the work seems to be really moving forward. It sounds a bit cliche but not doing 3 art fairs a year has allowed for growth and experimentation in my work, that might not have occurred otherwise.

Tell us about the biggest risk you’ve taken as an artist.

Really need to take more risks in my work. I’ve been messing around with sculpture all of which have failed up to this point.  Still planning on exploring that avenue soon.

What do you love most about Portland/ Brooklyn?

I grew up in Portland and moved to Brooklyn 10 years ago. In Brooklyn I am within walking distance to almost all my closest friends, studio, and a ton of restaurants. It really has a kind of  provincial feel to it. You get to buy your meat from the butcher and bread from the bakery. You are in the city but your neighborhood is where you live. Most of all I have a really great group of friends that are very supportive.

What makes Portland/ Brooklyn such a great place for independent art?

There is really just so many people making art in both these cities, that it just makes you want to produce. Especially in Brooklyn I feel like the type of people that make the move to live here are a little more motivated type personality. You can’t help but feed on that energy. It makes it so much easier to keep working when you are surrounded by close friends that are also making work.

Don’t miss this week’s Portland artist, Trish Grantham, on Habit of Art!

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