BRE is an Atlanta-based fine artist that has a knack for hand-painting apparel. His paintings are often dark in message, featuring skulls and other symbols of death. We reached out to BRE to discuss his creative process, influences, and the reoccurring theme of death in his art. Check out his work below and read our interview with him that follows.
Click on any of the images above to open a gallery of BRE’s work.
Describe your style in five words or less.
Bold, Vibes, Truth, Message, Important.
Describe your creative process. How do you start a new piece?
My creative process starts with me making a list of the messages i want to deliver. Everything I do I want it to serve a purpose. Following that, I start to place a base layer straight from my head, no drafts. This base usually gets covered multiple times over days until I really connect with a vibe. Once I’m finally set on the vibe I usually finish the piece in one or two sittings.
Who and what are your biggest influences?
Kanye West is my biggest influence. Before I was really exposed to Kanye I was a totally different person with a totally different mindset. He changed all that for me and really opened my mind up to new ways of thinking and made me a better human being. Also, through Ye, I was able to indulge into people like Virgil, Jerry Lorenzo and everyone else who’s a part of the DONDA and GOOD Music family.
You have an apparel brand called “LivingToDeath.” When and why did you start painting on clothing and shoes?
I began painting on apparel junior year of high school because I wanted to change the color of my Jordans. Once I got bored of that I began to add actual art to the shoes and that led to where I am now. Once I started Living To Death that gave me a foundation and placed a meaning behind every hand-printed piece that I currently put out.
How did the theme of death become so prominent in your work?
We are all going to die one day, that’s a fact. With that in mind, I am driven to live everyday like it is my last. That is the meaning behind Living To Death: “Doing as much as we can with our time on earth.” I believe that because “death” is such a strong word and the fact that I use skulls a lot, that people mistake my work for being “dark art”. Some pieces are dark, but it’s actually more about embracing life and knowledge.
What do you want people to know you for?
I want people to remember me as someone that always gave my all. No matter how many ups and downs life has thrown at me, I stayed true to myself and true to my message. I also try to empower those around me to truly believe in themselves. I believe that anything is possible in the world and if your refocus your mind and truly work at something, then there is no such thing as failing.