By Amy Bareham
Cultural & Community Investment Intern
Charlotte’s Culture Initiative, graphic design, painting and the Hornets all have someone in common: his name is Arthur Brouthers and he is a fall 2014 Arts & Science Council Community Supported Art (CSA) participant. Originally from Charleston, Brouthers is the embodiment of synergy, marrying multiple concepts and disciplines in order to produce art.
Like many, Brouthers initially put art dreams on hold, declining offers from SCAD and Parsons, and choosing to pursue graphic design at college instead. Once ingratiated in the Charlotte community, he partnered with a friend to develop Culture Initiative, a grassroots movement that supports emerging artists. After five years, roughly 30 shows and a whole lot of patience, Brouthers finally made the decision to step back and focus on his own art.
A successful show with Sharon Dowell and various other artists at Art Space 525 led to a commission and a contract with Sozo Gallery where Brouthers’ work is currently on display. Perhaps most impressive about his paintings is that they’re a result of trial and error.
“One day I was messing around…and I spilled paint. This is a true story,” said Brouthers, “I had some paint fall over, it got everywhere and I really liked the way that [the colors] blended.”
Never has trial and error looked so good. With his unique pouring technique, Brouthers is able to create different effects each time, and should it all go horribly wrong, he can scrape off the paint and begin again.
Artist by day and DJ by night, Brouthers has also made close ties with the Bobcats, now the Charlotte Hornets, playing a majority of home games, halftime sets and private functions. While music is an integral part of Brouthers’ character, he is thankful for the opportunity to invest more time into painting.
“I didn’t feel like I could really go anywhere with what I was doing before – I was doing abstracts,” he said. “I was doing what felt good and what helped me out. It was more like therapy for me. It really didn’t matter if anyone else liked it. Whenever I’m DJ-ing, if people don’t like my music, I don’t get hired or they don’t ask me to come back. But if I’m painting, I can just keep on doing whatever I want to do. It’s more of a freedom of expression.”
That freedom to create is bringing CSA shareholders 50 trademark pieces this October.
“I’m doing 50 10x10x2 wood canvases,” Brouthers explained. “[They’re] basically my pouring style and then there’s a layer of epoxy resin on the top. It almost has a glassy look to it.”
All different colors and inspired by natural formations seen throughout the world, the canvases are labors of love.
“I work with a lot of acrylic and oil, gel mediums…different things to get that specific effect,” he said. “I use heat and I use fans and water, and I add oil…to kind of change the viscosity of the paint so that it will mix a certain way.”
Brouthers is completely self-taught, but as per his synergistic character, utilizes color theory from graphic design when working. With a new art studio and lounge-y house music in the background, this DJ-designer-artiste is set to revel in creative harmony.
Click here to see more of Arthur’s work.