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Washington Sculptors Group Newsletter Fall 2005
Feature: Aaron Quinn Brophy
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Compressing Aaron Quinn Brophy's life as an artist into a single page is going to be difficult. He has crammed an amazing amount of experience, travel, study and sculpture into his relatively short existence. Visiting his town house/studio was almost like visiting a movie set - billowing fabric floated in every dramatically furnished room, the main focus of each being his own sculpture.
While Brophy uses a variety of materials, his main medium is clay. He often weds clay with bronze and/or wood, employing a technique very much his own, in which the transition from one material to another is seamless. He also uses styrofoam, plastic, cement and found objects in his work. He maily depicts fragments of the human form, often quoting himself in the repetition of the same body part in different presentations. The emotion much of his work seems to convey is the pain and anguish of our ultimate dissolution.
Beginning his clay involvement at the age of 5 with an aunt who was a potter, Brophy formalized the clay connection at Alfred University.(Prior to attending university, at age 16, he traveled in Russia, only to return to Europe three years later to spend a summer devouring art everywhere he went.) After graduating from Alfred in 1997, he spent a summer as artist-in-residence on Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia. Shortly thereafter, in his words he accidentally became the youngest curator in the nation at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming. Brophy could only stay in Wyoming for seven months because he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to spend a year (1998-1999) as a visiting artist on the island nation of Cyprus. There, he was inspired by the Greek Orthodox icons and ancient sculpture of the Mediterranean, and was further stimulated by his travels in Greece, Lebanon and Egypt. This was followed by a fellowship at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.
The incredible list of prizes, honors, solo exhibits and professional positions this young artist lays claim to would do honor to an artist approaching retirement. He now teaches art at Landon School in Bethesda.
Inspired by vanity, entropy, rust, flesh, and clay, I create figurative sculptures that rest between reality and myth, heroism and cowardice, wholeness and disintegration. Through the transformation, fragmentation, and coalescence of materials I address the ephemeral nature of corporeal existence.