Frank Brothers Interview - New Bear Line
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? When did you get started with art?
- How did you develop your current style?
David: We are both self taught artists, originally from New Jersey... New Jersey public school in the 1980's wasn't very stimulating and that lead to years of prolific doodling... The art teachers in our school noticed we were creatively expressive in that way and they gave us free reign of the art supply room. They would look the other way while we helped ourselves to supplies to bring home. I guess our earliest influences were Saturday morning cartoons, The Smurfs... He- Man, later Skate Graphics and then Tattoos... In 2006 we Started taking trips to Peru and working with a Variety of plant medicines, Our current style evolved with the realization that the vibrational frequency of line and color could have a spiritually uplifting effect and our styles evolved and kind of melded when we started to have conversations with paintings.. for example I (David) only got into incorporating sacred geometry in my work after Danny started to get really into it... I saw what he was doing and was blown away... I wanted to apply those techniques to my work and see if I could bring new ideas into what I saw him doing. We have healthy creative rivalry.
Danny: I will piggyback on that and say Heavy Metal and Punk Rock album covers were early influences. And later, electronic music culture and all of its delightful trappings inspired a certain vibe. Before I went down the geometric rabbit hole I was always interested in making work that leaned toward distorted reality and alternative states of consciousness. As I developed my skill with a compass and ruler I grew more interested in the vibrational relationships of line and color and began exploring ideas around “visual medicine” and creating compositions that could be felt well as seen and that could potentially influence baseline consciousness (raise the vibe up).
- What are some inspirations for your style?
David: Nature, Folk Art, Plant Medicines, Huichol Art, Tattoo Flash (Robert Ryan, Christopher Scott), Tibetan Buddhist Art, Sacred Geometry, Art Nouveau... Inspiration is endless.
Danny: Early on, the older work of Peter Max captured my imagination. His imagery and use of color inspire me to this day. I also love the iconic hard line work of Roy Lichtenstein. Like David, I am inspired by Tattoo art and Street Art and Mandalas from all traditions. I appreciate Warhol and WW2 propaganda posters and Vintage Circus Art and 1970s Carnival rides and graphic design from the 1950’s and Oddnfellow art and Hex signs and the multitude of exceptional contemporary artists posting on the instagram.… Yes, inspiration is endless.
- What keeps you inspired to keep creating?
David: I Just finished a week long visionary Painting intensive with Alex and Allyson Grey. There were 18 other painters there, an amazing community of artists... that has left me with with lifetimes of inspiration! Seeing the work of other artists is always a great inspiration to me.
Danny: The easy answer is that I am inspired by mystery. When I don’t know what to make, I sketch or freestyle with a compass or I go through old sketch books or look at my brother’s work and put on music, and usually a jump off point will reveal itself. Also, books, lots of books.
- What was your inspiration behind your Brother Bear painting? Any hidden meanings behind the imagery?
David: When I painted this image I was thinking of BEAR as a strong protector of family and Loved ones. Bears are powerful and Protective but also take time to hibernate so there is an element of Self Care there as well. I included the cross arrows with the design as a symbol of friendship, the bear is a strong ally. I put the cross on his head to honor the four directions and the meeting of heaven and earth. I put stars on him to represent the cosmic connection and I often use clouds in my imagery as a representation of Flow... The flow of life... the flow of nature... the flow of the creative spirit...
What is your favorite piece from the Brother Bear collection being released? Why?
David: My favorite piece is the Tie Dye hoody,
I love the colors and quality of the fabric and you guys really made the graphic pop.
Danny: I’m all about the hats. I Love the the fitted hat and the snapback. I think the Tie dye hoodie is pretty dope as well and I Love the fluffiness of the pullovers, but for me, it’s the hats first.
- Do you have any dream collaborations you would want to be involved with? Artists, bands, brands, etc...?
David: I'd Love to design a pair of VANS Slip Ons... In the Grassroots Universe I'd love to Collab with San Pedro Del Sol, Phil Lewis or Chris Dyer...
Danny: I’d Love to design a hot air balloon or a fleet of ice cream trucks. I would also love to collaborate with someone who had the technical ability to help me design a pinball machine. I have a long term dream of creating a psychedelic mini golf course, so finding the right contractors and investors for that would be dope. More conventionally, I’d love to do an installation (like a Fun House) with the fellows that David mentioned above. We could add John Speaker , WolfBat (Dennis McNett) and Alex Yanes and probably 50 others to that list, as well as a few Disney imagineers… It would be sick to collaborate on an immersive ride like “It’s a small world” but more aligned with our vibe. It would be fun to design some Adidas sneakers and definitely more hats too.
- Any advice for up and coming artists?
Davdi: Make art every day, even if it's for only 5 minutes... Stay true to your style and trust your process.
Danny: My advice would be to put in the time. Be patient with your process and find your voice. Remember to play and to challenge yourself. Keep learning. Lean into discipline over rigidity. Take your work seriously and don’t take your work too seriously.
- Any upcoming shows or events?
David: I'm in the process of creating a Tarot Deck, I just got through the Major Arcana so still a ways to go but the vision for the future is 78-11x17 Framed pieces holding down a wall... I'm also creating a variety of companion pieces on wood and canvas that will hang with the full deck.
Danny: I am focusing on making work. David and I are almost due to put up a new show, so my focus for the next year is to finish a number of larger pieces that I have started and also to make a lot of new work. It’s cocoon time and I’m stoked about it.
| Posted on October 25 2023