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Home is Where the Art is: Brent Ray Fraser, XXX artist

What I love the most about art is its unpredictability, and working with Brent Ray Fraser embodies this to the fullest. Brent is a multi-faceted artist who works within many different mediums – from painting to mixed media to performance art...
Brent Ray Fraser
Artist Brent Ray Fraser relaxes in his studio.

What I love the most about art is its unpredictability, and working with Brent Ray Fraser embodies this to the fullest. Brent is a multi-faceted artist who works within many different mediums – from painting to mixed media to performance art... to using his body to create art (and I’m not referencing his hands).

As a designer, I find Brent awesome to work with because of his creative openness; he seems to be inspired by life, allowing him to be just as passionate about a commissioned piece for a client as any other creation. Brent’s work is a visual representation of his devotion to art – his eagerness to create and affection for art are at the forefront of every piece. I believe it’s this enthusiasm that keeps Brent so relevant within our city, as he identifies with such a wide audience.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I don’t even know where to begin with just a little. I love spending time with my three young nephews, making art with my seven-month old niece in one arm and a paintbrush in the other. I watch movies by myself in the theatre and enjoy taking breaks from painting at my studio to pet the horses on the property. I prefer solitude, but can only last so long before I need a good dose of family. I sit down in the shower as opposed to standing and as I sit I always listen to “Carnival of the Animals” by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

How did you get started in art and what led you to where you are now?
My first memory is finger painting in nursery school, so I’d say it all started then. Everything from that point on led to where I am now. Art leads to more art and opportunity precedes more opportunity. I’ve stuck to this passion since I was three years old and my soul will continue after my body’s death.

If you could describe your artistic style in one word, what would it be?
Carefree.

What gets your creative juices flowing?
Falling asleep and waking up.

Is there a song or a musician that inspires you to create?
“Nessun Dorma” from the final act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot performed by Luciano Pavarotti.  

Do you have a Vancouver muse? Or a favourite place in or around  the city that inspires you?
Sitting on Robson Street doing computer work at a highly trafficked coffee shop as Vancouver-ites/tourists pass me by. Climbing up the Stawamus Chief in Squamish and sitting on top alone staring down the mountainous cliff.

What colour best describes your personality?
The rainbow.

If you were a type of candy, what would you be?
A red DinoSour. Rawr!
 
What is your most quirky attribute?

I’d have to say my giggle-laugh. I think it’s called a “chortle”.

Some people collect old cameras and typewriters. Do you collect anything? Is this a trick question?
I actually have a collection of old cameras and typewriters. They’re displayed next to my collection of nostalgic candy, licence plates, toy guns, Barbie and Ken dolls, rotating disco balls, old paint brushes, vintage Playboy and Hustler mags, muffin tins, lava lamps, taxidermy deer heads and bottles of chest hair.

What is your favourite creative website?
Facebook, believe it or not. To prevent being banned I have to get really creative when posting my art.

If you weren’t doing art, what would you be doing?
I’d be dead….or eating dinner at my mom’s.

Is there one area of your craft you find especially challenging?
Cleaning up.

Do you have a favourite creative space?
I never play favourites, especially with creative spaces. My silo studio is the place where I make art, but to be honest I enjoy sitting in my parents' living room on the computer while my dad watches the news.

Douglas Coupland recently said “a city without strong consistent art funding is basically a parking lot” when discussing Vancouver’s vast art community. How do you feel about this and how do you think Vancouver compares to other cities in Canada?
I never comment on the arts funding in Vancouver as I’ve never relied upon it for my work. What I will say is Vancouver charges way too much for parking and there isn’t enough free spots. Boo. 

Brent Ray Fraser

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