Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown was born in 1969 to British parents in London, and now lives and works in New York City. Brown’s work uses an array of colour and gestural markings, there is an energy to Brown’s brush marks which have been compared to other renowned artists such as William De Kooning and Francis Bacon, (two of my favourite artists). Bodies and the human form offer inspiration for Brown’s work and can often be seen depicted in erotic positions.

Armed and Fearless‘, 2014
oil on linen
195.6 x 139.7 cm (77 x 54 7/8 in.)

The first painting I chose to look at more closely is ‘Armed and Fearless’. I particularly enjoy the choice of vibrant and bold colours juxtaposed with pastel pinks, lemons and black. There is a vivid energy to the canvas that draws you in, and I can pick out human bodies in motion, almost dancing together.

Above is my response to the work of Brown, using acrylic on paper. I really enjoyed imitating the gestural markings that Brown utilises, it felt natural and freeing. I think to improve upon my response I would slowly build up the vibrant energy using layers and waiting for each to dry. I can see where I have added some of the paint it has merged into other wet paint and lost it’s decisiveness.


Title: Untitled #54 , 2007
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 43.3 x 32.2 cm. (17 x 12.7 in.)

In contrast to the bold vivid colours of my first choice, I chose ‘Untitled #54’ as my second painting to analyse. The creamy earthy tones of this painting remind me of a forest spilling onto a beach and then looking out to sea. Or a strong river cutting through a thick Jungle, with tree trunks and vines hanging down in-between. I can’t identify any human bodies as such but more so the body, or the organism that is alive in the earth.

Again similar to my previous response there is a lack-lustre to my acrylic on paper, which I think could be saved by more layers on top and woven in between. Perhaps also with both responses, the introduction of a smaller sized paint brush to add more energy and definition to the painting, and a wider colour palette.

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