Caleb Brown: Transforming, Not Conforming

Caleb Brown is 21-year-old artist based in Salem, Massachusetts. He works in many different mediums, often creating distorted collage images. He tells Downtown 500 of his artistic origins, his inspiration from Van Gogh and what art means to him. Check out Caleb’s work below and be sure to read our interview with him that follows.

Click any of the above images to open a gallery of Caleb’s work.
Describe your style of work.

Disjointed but cohesive.

What mediums do you work in?

Whatever I can get my hands on – pencils, markers, oil pastels, magazines, anything. I’ll even go out of my way to incorporate things that could be unorthodox.

Describe your creative process. How do you start a new piece?

Usually on impulse. I’ll soak in information, media, or anything else I can remember. They’ll bounce around and connect until enough comes together and forms a complete (or at least tangible) idea or direction to aim in. I’ll listen to music when I work, but sometimes it’s nice to work in silence and really be alone with my thoughts. I prefer working to instrumentals or in languages other than english. Not knowing the language almost forces you to pay attention to other aspects pf the song, like tonality, composition, etc. It’s easier to appreciate them as a whole, and inspired me to keep a similar attention to detail within my own work.

Who and what are your biggest influences?

I’d have to say Van Gogh is the artist that convinced me to pursue art. Growing up I had this big hardcover book that had a biography and pictures of his work. It wasn’t until i had gotten older and began to go through some things where I needed a release. At certain points I was desperate, before I had gotten into visual arts, I spent a lot of my life practicing martial arts. It was the perfect release for me at the time, it taught me a lot of the patience and discipline I still retain today, but eventually I had burnt out and didn’t pursue anything with that same passion for a while. I read more about Vincent’s story and bits of it stuck with me. He wasn’t in it for the money, he had a dedication to his craft even though he didn’t receive nearly as much acclaim and praise as he does now. That amidst a man in turmoil, he’a still capable of capturing a beauty within existing. I began to sketch some of his pieces within the book, and that catapulted me into creating for myself as well.

What does art mean to you?

Art is a tool for discovery and connection between peers and generations. One of the ways we observe past peoples are through their cultures and how they decorated space and time. What they valued and feared or their dreams and nightmares of tomorrow.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years? I hope to be in a position to accept and encourage growth within myself and others. To inspire transforming our surroundings rather than conforming to them.

Follow Caleb on Twitter and Instagram.

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