Frank Bramblett, Tête-à-Tête

Date
1999
Medium
Mixed media, pigments, marble dust, and encaustic on panel
Credit Line
Gift of the artist, 2015
Dimensions
90 x 72 in.

Bramblett’s images often contain fruit or seed-like elements that suggest regrowth and regeneration. Here, floating pomegranate-like forms populate the entire surface of the canvas. Some of them appear to be sliced in half, revealing their dark centers. The organic shapes also suggest cells or organs. The term Tête-à-Tête refers to a private conversation between two people—perhaps the image is a microscopic depiction of two bodies meeting at the cellular level.

In addition to his experiments with materials, Bramblett invents tools that allow him to alter his process. To create the swirling lines that texturize the surface of this painting, Bramblett invented his own brush. He cut a tool used to apply wallpaper paste and drilled holes in it. He then inserted a dowel closer to the edge of the tool. Because the handle wasn’t centered when he moved the brush, it would spin, creating the spiral patters with paint. By changing the location of the dowel, he could change the spin of the brush and the resulting spirals.

 

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