Brian Hibbard grew up in small-town America in the suburbs of Green Bay, Wisconsin, absorbing everything he saw on Television - New York City seemed like a dreamland, and other countries only existed in books. He is the son of a school teacher and a farm-raised-father. They took Brian and his sister on road trips every summer, camping from National Park to National Park. This childhood ingrained a love of nature and adventure that, when paired with hours of MTV, shaped the artist’s brain today.
In 2003, he attended a Wisconsin public college in the even smaller town of Whitewater, Wisconsin. “I jumped into the art program there as a business major dabbling in fine art, and Teresa hated me,” Brian laughs. “She takes art very seriously, and I was not, and she let me know it. Her passion was contagious.” He credits his painting professor Greg Porcaro, aforementioned
metalsmith/3-D specialist Teresa Faris, and his drawing and design professor Max White’s enthusiasm for art in changing his entire outlook on life.
In 2007, Brian continued his painting practice at The Art Garage in Green Bay. The Art Garage is an artist collective - an oasis of creativity in a city drowning in football and beer - a continually growing beehive of artistic minds. Brian continued lessons learned from Greg Porcaro, just now without the restraints of a classroom and grades. He earned first place in the annual Art Meets Heart fundraiser held at The Art Garage every year, which was enough to keep pushing him forward. Green Bay didn’t have quite enough to offer, however, so Brian held a farewell exhibition entitled “Big City Dreams,” and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2010.
Currently practicing art in his studio at Var Gallery in Milwaukee’s up-and-coming Walker’s Point neighborhood – the former fur trading post is now the most diverse area in the city with new trendy restaurants and apartments taking over the old industrial buildings. His techniques are experimental, self-taught, and messy. People are often struck by the bright colors and sense of humor, and usually comment on the mixture of mediums and materials used. “I leave a lot of rough edges, and don't prescribe to any painting rules. I want to convey fun, freedom and thoughtfulness.” The main themes in his art include: music, relationships, politics, the human body and human struggles. Brian has visited over 20 countries across the globe, and is heavily influenced by people, cities, and popular culture. He lists his main artistic influences as Robert Rauschenberg, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson and Banksy.
Brian works as a bartender in Milwaukee to pay his bills, but will never stop creating. He hopes to get more involved in the community, and is interested in commissioning murals to promote revitalization. You may see him biking around Milwaukee with his old Minolta 35mm film-camera, or, if you’re lucky, serving you a drink downtown.
"We are influenced by what is going on around us, by the events of our daily lives. Connections are made between seemingly unrelated events, feelings, or experiences. The more we are open to and willing to work with the happenstance of the artistic process, the more enlivened the work becomes. Conversely, rigid fixation on an idea about what the work must look like when it is finished can cause the artwork to become awkward or forced looking, and drained of life. The process of enlivening is further enhanced when viewers are added and the multiple ways of seeing a piece of art bring new perspectives." -- Catherine Hyland Moon, 2002