Native to Atlanta and known initially for name recognition as a graffiti artist, award-winning public artist Alex Brewer’s nearly two decades of working in the realm of public art, grants, commissions, and cross-media connections have landed him local, national and international public art projects. Brewer developed his skill for graffiti in the mid to late ‘90s and early 2000s. Atlanta’s anti graffiti ordnance of 2003 moved Brewer into the realm of granted and commissioned public art. He has received numerous commissions, particularly from the city of Atlanta. The latest was the Arizona Avenue mural “Float,” in 2012. HENSE recently completed his largest exterior public wall to date, which was a commissioned work for ISIL Institute in Lima, Peru. The artwork was painted in 2013 and measures 137 feet tall and 170 feet wide.
HENSE began his career painting and writing on walls in and around Atlanta and has since produced numerous public wall works internationally. Combining the language and techniques of graffiti art with the formal language of abstract painting, Brewer has produced artworks that incorporate line, shape, and gesture to create abstract compositions that are invigorated by the quick pace and commentary of street culture.
HENSE currently lives and works in Atlanta GA.
‘“Labeling an artist who floats seamlessly from graffiti tags to 1,200 square foot murals to precise fine art drawings is a foolish game. However, HENSE’s gestural splashes and scribbles certainly bring to mind abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning. For them, and for HENSE, painting is an encounter between the artist and the canvas. The works take on a life of their own in the process. Remarkably, that often requires re-doing, re-painting, or destroying major portions of the painting during the course of its construction. Often several layers lie underneath each finished product, adding literal and figurative depth to his paintings. ‘I generally work on things in a very instinctive way. I paint, spray or draw shapes and marks, then decide on what stays and what goes. I try to never be afraid to paint over something or make changes, allowing breakthroughs to the other side. Sometimes the part you hate the most about a painting becomes the most layered and interesting area once you’ve destroyed it.’ His process and product is a unique battle between the beauty of fine art and the bricolage of the street. The works that result from this unfolding do not serve as an interpretation, but rather as a presentation—an unconditional gift, an invitation with no destination. HENSE’s manic marks, scribbles, drips and splashes produce an agitated tangle of shapes, symbols and figures that offer the viewer a unique and strangely peaceful platform for the eyes and mind. His slick stylizing may send observers on a roller coaster ride of emotions, perturbed to peaceful, angry to inspired, always travelling at the command of the individual’s own subconscious collection of experiences.”’
Ted Elmore - RVA News
For inquiries regarding the work or to obtain pricing and commission information, exhibition opportunities, installation or mural proposals, please use the contact section of this site.