“Brett takes my Walker”
I had the privilege, long ago, of seeing numerous paintings done by Brett with oil paint and a series of different sized spoons, in person, in his then small apartment while he was finishing up a few. He was creating spot-on large versions of cereal boxes from the sixties and seventies. The texture of the paintings was striking. His oil paint was put on thickly, using those spoon palette knives. I think he mentioned that Sharon Osbourne owned one of them as well as a few other notables. I wished I had the money to buy and the space to hang one of these large colorful pieces.
I ended up buying a print he’d done of a flowering tree as well as an original painting of a mutual friend of ours that was very original in it’s painting technique. His use of color in the piece had a brutality to it and counter intuitive color palette. It stood out and it’s on my wall next to an original drawing gifted to me by Jonathan Winters.
Eventually we found ourselves exhibiting in some shows together. We were part of a group show in an Eagle Rock gallery. Brett’s art for that show was a huge, elegant nude lady line drawing/painting that could have been done by Matisse or Picasso, if either had been influenced by Ben Shahn, comical and poignant while somehow feeling alive and reflective.
He’s shown in many downtown galleries: The Hive, Cannibal Flower, and the soon to be closing Hollywood venue Meltdown Comics.
Brett also puts his cartoon art on everything; phones, shirts, you name it. For a while he was working on a series of invented comic monsters that he conjured up. He’s moved into some farcical, fun designs, I believe inspired by his young twin daughters. He makes epic art no matter what scale he approaches. He’s a workhorse, comical and serious all at the same time.
Brett is a very smart joke writer as well, having toured the country as a headliner (and as an actor you may have seen him in the movie Ghost World or the TV shows Prime Time Glick or Angie Tribeca). Haven’t even begun to share the fact that he’s a Photoshop genius and loves composing pictures that are laugh out loud funny. Bet he’s painted or made about thirty things while you were reading this article.
Chris Bonno received his Bachelor Degree in Studio Art, with Honors, at the University of Texas at Austin. He’s illustrated for National Lampoon Magazine, the Writer’s Guild of America magazine, the LA Weekly and the Austin Chronicle and is currently a regular illustrator for The American Bystander magazine “an essential read for comedy nerds”(quote by the New York Times). He has illustrated books for “Tonight Show” writer T. Sean Shannon and comedian John Marks. His art has also been featured on various TV shows including “Talk Soup”, “Caroline in the City” and “Gilmore Girls.” Many of his recent works can be found in the article written about him called “The Art of Comedy” by publisher and editor Tony Shea.
You can check out Chris’s art at the links below including his website at http://chrisbonno.com at on Instagram @chrisbonnoart.
Click preview links below for more of Brett Gilbert’s whimsical week.