The American Visionary Art Museum defines Visionary Art as “art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” Northeast Los Angeles is home to such an artist–Brian Tolley (briantolley.com).
When Brian was three-years-old, he was looking for something to do and picked up some loose twist ties and started to bend them. At first he made simple 2-dimensional pieces. Something about the twist ties really intrigued him and he just kept twisting. Eventually, he started to make 3-dimensional objects. In his early teens, he started to get more serious about this twisting thing, encouraged by his aunt May. A few more years of honing his very unique art form resulted in his use of only white twist ties which he would color with markers. The resulting figures and objects became more detailed and complex; some have removable components.
Each of the twist tie art pieces is made without glue or armatures, then painstakingly hand-colored and detailed. The small pieces take 1-2 weeks to complete. Larger pieces, such as his size 12 Converse high-top tennis shoe, are amazingly detailed, down to the labels and tread.
Brian, who is still in high school, started to display his work at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market in 2010, and has been steadily gaining a following of fans and collectors. He has contributed work to many charity auctions, including Askate Foundation. Documentary filmmaker Clay Westervelt (award-winning director and cinematographer of Imaginaut Entertainment) has been documenting Brian and his twisted art process for a film project. Brian sees unlimited possibilities in his art form, and plans on a career as Mr. Twister.
Future Studio Gallery is incredibly proud to exhibit Mr. Twister’s Twisted Art Show, and introduce Brian, who resides in Eagle Rock, to the Northeast Los Angeles art world and beyond. After the opening, the show is on view by appt. to Sept. 1.