Aria Brownell is a figurative oil painter currently living and working in Austin, Texas. She graduated with a BFA in Painting from SUNY Purchase College in New York in 2015. She captures images of intimacy and personal memory in her paintings, in which the narrative can evolve and warp throughout each layer of paint. Touching on small instances of contact, mischief, comfort, grief, messiness, and familiarity, she creates a myth behind a cast of painted characters and scenes portrayed in vivid color. Aria is the Outreach Director at Contracommon Gallery in Bee Cave where she is also a studio member. She has shown work in Texas, Connecticut, and New York.
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I romanticize everything. I’m entranced by every inch of the flesh of my friends and devour the sight of a room deeply dosed with chiaroscuro. I love a body that is unfamiliar and a maze of undiscovered textures and shapes. I seek to find details, keeping my eye busy and giving new meaning to each layer I work through. My paintings are an articulation of my desire to reimagine an already written biography. Focusing on the little things, like the way his hand rests so close to his waist, or a slight expression that can be read a million different ways, or items laid together in conversation, makes it seem for an instant that I’m breathing through a devastating movie instead of a regular day. Everything is grey in between flashes of gorgeous, irresistible iridescence. Everything flows normally about and only sometimes pauses at a moment so delicate, so unknowingly playful or serene. Like static running from the tip of my finger to another’s flesh, I paint these instances of shocking synchronicity, goosebumps and all. I don’t dare leave anything out.