Studio Visit Interview

Short bio

Although I grew up in NY I spent 10 years living in California during and after a 5 year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. When I first encountered the west and particularly the desert I discovered a true sense of spiritual awareness. The stillness and grandeur of those wide open spaces launched me onto a journey to commune with the Earth and more importantly to connect deeply within myself. My current artistic direction is a reflection of the journey we all walk in life. It’s a combination of honoring the sacred internal path and celebrating the beauty of our beloved planet. I’m sharing this journey in the hopes of encouraging others to seek wisdom from Mother Earth and from within themselves. I’ve found incredible support, wisdom, and direction along this sacred path and I’m here to shine a light on that timeless connection that we all have access to.

Bragino_GOC_Higher-Aspirations-compressor

Higher Aspirations, Grain of Consciousness Series by Peter Bragino

What is your medium and your process?

My medium is mostly mixed media. That consists of Acrylic paints, markers, pens, laser engraving and sometimes digital painting.

Describe what inspires your artwork.

My work is inspired mostly by Mother Nature and the spiritual journey of life. I use improvisational techniques, mark making, draughtsmanship, and heavy design aesthetics in my pieces. I like the look of hand drawn marks on a page. I aim to create harmony out of the chaos that occurs when you approach a piece of art from an improvisational manner by layering design ideas on top of the randomness that initially occurs. This process allows the image to have a life of it’s own. As the artist I try to honor that history as cocreateor of each piece and find my way to a meaningful image.

What sets your artwork apart from others? What makes it special?

It’s important for me to allow the hand of the artist to be evident in everything that I do. That, to me, is the life blood of a work of art. It shows process, energy, mistakes, corrections, struggle, and solutions. That journey is something you’ll see in all of my work. It’s a blend of inspired energy meeting trained creative understanding and solutions.

painting of a woman in purples and pinks laying on her side resting on her arms as if going to bed

Apathy Reclining, Modern Goddess Series by Peter Bragino

How would you describe your studio?

My studio is warm, confortable, organized, and fully available to create on demand. It’s a space that supports my creative energy in a very efficient way so that my creative process is always unhindered. It’s fully adaptable for having events, dinner parties, and gallery openings. I created it as a multi-use space.

Do you listen to music while working on your art, and if so, what type?

I generally listen to music when I work and that could be a number of things. Ambient music, Icaros, Pow Wow songs, and 80’s are just a few. It varies on the mood and the piece.

Do you collect artwork? What is your favorite type and why?

I have collected a few pieces from friends that are artists. I do so to support their growth and also to collect images that inspire me in my own work.

What do collectors love about your art? And what have you learned from them?

Collectors love the amount of contemplation, passion, and love that goes into my work. All of my pieces are created with a deep level of introspection about spirituality and that energy/intention resonates with them. I’ve learned from them not to be too concerned about explaining my work to people because when someone connects with a piece they get it completely. When it resonates with them it does so in a manner similar to my own thought process of why I make art. Aesthetically, spiritually, and emotionally our world views are synced so the work makes sense automatically.

Guardians Series Poster, By Peter Bragino

Guardians Series Poster, By Peter Bragino

 What is one of your favorite quotes, and why?

“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.” ― Robert Henri

The reason I like this quote is:

  1. It’s by Robert Henri and I believe he is one of the more contemplative artists I’ve come across. His words and disposition towards the deep beauty of the artistic life resonate deeply with me.
  2. I think deeply and with great care about myself, my fellow human beings, and this incredible life we’re living. I reject the thought that everything is known and I live artistically in a space that’s always courting the unknown. I think it’s important for us as humans to seek deeper understandings about all things especially about ourselves. This quote aligns with that notion.

What other interests, besides your artwork, do you have?

I have many other interests beside art. I’m a musician, guitar player and singer who writes and composes songs and music. I’m an avid gardner who loves to grow my own food. I’m heavily engaged in Indigenous Cultural ways and ceremonies that include Sweat Lodges, Teepee meetings, and other medicinal ways to commune with spirit. I’m currently playing live music for some of those ceremonies. The main instruments that I use are acoustic guitar, Native American flute, rattles and drums. One of my favorite things to do is to hike around in nature and to explore like a child into the unknown and bountiful spaces of the Earth. I consider myself a Treasure Hunter – when you open your awareness, sharpen your perception of the world around you and embrace the unknown you will inevitably find magic – That, to me, is one of the most mysterious and beautiful gifts of life.

Majestic Glow, Grain of Consciousness Series, by Peter Bragino

Majestic Glow, Grain of Consciousness Series, by Peter Bragino

When and why did you decide to become an artist? Why is this so important to you?

I remember as a child always wanting to draw with my friends. They’d want to play sports but I’d always put drawing on the table as an option. I also loved trains since my Father worked as a track walker for the NYC Subway system. I was always intrigued with what he did for work and completely excited when he told me he was taking me into the city to show me the trains and stations where he spent his days. I’d never been into Manhattan before and was excited for the journey.

Throughout the day we quickly passed through every gate and station we encountered since my Dad had the keys to all the gates. I remember riding in the front of the train to see the tracks as we were traveling in the tunnels. I was mesmerized by all of this. At one point in the day we pulled into a station where my father wanted to show me something on the walls as the train was puling away. Artist had painted images in sequence onto the walls of the tunnel that acted like a flip book. As the train moved away the images that we were seeing out of the window began to move and animate. This, to me, was pure magic. After the images passed my father looked down at me and said – “The artists that created these murals don’t get paid to come down here and paint them. They do it because it’s something that’s inside of them.” – That was the moment, like a flash of lightning, I instantly knew that I was an artist just like them.  I recall that as the moment I met my soul.

That intuition, the strongest I’d ever felt since then, has remained with me. I’ve always known that art would be my life. It was just a matter of when and how. That moment is very important to me for numerous reasons. It’s a magical memory with my Father. It’s a gift of the intuition that helped me know from a very early age what I would do in life. It’s the first time I fully recognized my soul. That’s why the inner connection to self is so important to me and why my work focuses on celebrating and shining a light on that relationship. I believe everyone has the ability and the right to connect in that way with their own inner knowing. I believe that all personal wisdom and true direction comes from that connection.

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