Valade Gallery had a carefree atmosphere Feb. 5, as students and peers came to hear Aaron Brandt talk about his art show, “Low Pressure Systems.” The gallery walls were lined with large, vinyl, manipulated photos of cloud images with beautiful color and smooth line play.
Brandt’s sublime art pieces seem unrelated to his original path in college, which was to major in engineering. But, he dislikes rules.
“I don’t like rules and that is all engineering is, it is all rules,” Brandt said.
He ended up changing his major twice before settling on art. Brandt attended The University of Toledo and then went on to Bowling Green State University to pursue his graduate degree in art. His work reflects his opinion on rules as the pieces are very natural and organic.
Brandt focuses on natural things like landscapes, the environment, and climate change in his work. He said he “looks at how much of an affect man has on color,” especially colors that are seen in sunrises or sunsets. His photos of clouds were taken over the course of 2-5 years. He plays with the color of the photos and adds line patterns to create unusual compositions.
Someone at the show asked him why he prints his photographs so large. Brandt said it was “to have the same overwhelming feelings of looking at the sky.”
Leah Binsack agrees. She said his art does, in fact, do just that. They are overwhelmed by their size but incredibly beautiful– “bright but cozy” is how she described it. She said she had seen some of his pieces before but it was her first time seeing multiple pieces together.
Brandt said he pulls inspiration from the artists J. M. W. Turner and Mary Iverson, who, like Brandt, center their art on the environment. He said he started drawing at age 4 because his brother was into drawing.
“I had an older brother so I had to play catch up to be as good as he was,” Brandt explained as he talked about the start of his interest in creating art. He has been doing it ever since, and now that he has finished graduate school, he continues to do shows like this one and keeps creating environment-based art.
Brandt’s show was delightful and pleasing to study. His work captures the beauty of nature on its own while also drawing attention to the effect people can have on our natural surroundings as well. In his artist statement, Brandt talks about his influences.
“Every day weather teaches lessons about the inevitability of chaos,” he writes.
Brandt’s “Low Pressure Systems” does a stunning job of just that, presenting the beauty of clouds and showing all the colors that can be found within them.