The current art exposition at Metropolis Cafe is titled “Transforming Metropolis.” In this collection, Brian Truex, an artist who resides in Edgewater, invites his viewers to explore the wonder and mysteries inherent in life.
Truex’s arresting pieces force one to take notice, which is his intent for these works. Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with him to discuss his work and get a window into his creative process and goals as an artist.
Regarding the symbolic nature of his art, Brian had this to say, “Writing is difficult, especially about my creativity. I’ve always struggled with it. I’ve never been comfortable with the ability of language to describe or convey what I’m pursuing as much as an image does. Why I say ‘confirm my natural affinity’ is because my earliest experiences of art were as a kid. Representational art is what I was most exposed to. As a kid you’re not trying to figure it out. I always saw representational art as metaphorical of something else.” This artist’s journey into his craft was intensely personal and infused with spirituality.
“The starting point is always the same, losing my mother to cancer. The birth of my creative process was the loss of my mother. Art became a priority to explore the mysteries of life,” he says. “My first decision was to go back to school and get my MFA. I always had an innate sense of the sacred nature of art. When I first got into school, I thought I’d try anything. My mother was an educator and instilled in me the value of education. I knew she’d be happy that I was in back in school. So I knew I had to get my MFA. I experimented a great deal before discovering my natural abilities in painting and drawing.
“Before mother passed away, I was not a spiritual seeker. I hadn’t decided to make art my focus or priority at that point. I would have described my spiritual life as empty. Religion was not a main part of my life growing up. After that experience I said ‘I want to have a deeper, stronger, more spiritually significant life.’ For me that was the beginning of a self-discovery journey. How do you render your personal, spiritual journey? It IS intimate and mysterious. For me they belong together.
“When I first started out, I thought I was seeking something outside of myself. I think when you’re young you have a strong sense of otherness between you and the phenomenal world. You’re stuck in this awe moment but spiritual maturity is the fundamental understanding [that] the spiritual mystery is within you. I can’t tell you when it happened, but it definitely happened,” he continues. “The self discovery of spirituality comes down to allowing. I don’t believe in forcing. It’s something you have to allow yourself to nourish. It is a personal choice, it is effort. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Having said that, it is important for me to create work that draws people in. It really comes down to, ‘Does the piece have presence to draw you in? Does it make me want to walk across the room and spend some time with it?’ If it can’t at least do that, then we can’t even begin to have a conversation.”
So what is the transformation that Truex hopes for in his viewers of “Transforming Metropolis?”
“Joseph Campbell hits the nail on the head when he says transformation of consciousness is what it’s all about. If you can get somebody to stop and pay attention to a moment, that is a transformation of consciousness. Art makes you absolutely present in the moment. As the artist you know how essential that is for your life, but if you can’t share that with another human being then what is the point? Knowledge and wisdom: the difference is transforming someone else’s life. If you are creating something that gives respite for the moment; that’s what its about.
“You know it’s possible. What more can you ask for?”
Brian Truex’s “Transforming Metropolis” will be at Metropolis Cafe through December 12. Come in and challenge yourself to be transformed.