Photo credit - Sam Horine, 2008
Under the name Elbow Toe, Brooklyn based artist
Brian Adam Douglas has been pasting his distinctive
woodcuts, stencil work, large-scale charcoal drawings
and collages onto the walls of cities all around the
world throughout the past decade. His diverse practice
is anchored by an interest in the human gesture as a
powerful form of communication, one charged with unspoken
narratives and he continually transforms public space
into a stage for these private moments.

Douglas’ work has always drawn from myth, symbolism and
poetry, something that has become particularly important
in his most recent body of collage work. Just as he builds
a finished image through the meticulous layering of tiny
individual bits of coloured paper, so the meaning of the
image is woven through layers of references to historically
and culturally established narratives. This kind of
intertextuality has become the foundation for the development
of his distinctive style. The result is a sophisticated
visual language where personal metaphors begin to
communicate universal truths. Given these intricate and
delicately arranged collages have a fluidity rarely seen
in collage work, they may at first glance be mistaken for
paintings. Whilst the artist draws on a rich tradition of
figurative painting and has qualities reminiscent of
Freud and Bacon, his affluent style and medium are very
much his own. Douglas consistently pushes the boundaries
of contemporary image-making.

Douglas is currently producing a body of collage work for
Black Rat Projects. These works will be exhibited at the
Warrington Museum for his first UK retrospective which will
move to Black Rat Project’s gallery space in London in March
2011 with additions newly completed. That the forerunners of
urban art publishing, DRAGO, are releasing a book about
Douglas’ practice that spans his entire career, pays testament
to this pivotal moment in the artist’s career. Douglas has recently
taken up US representation with Andrew Eldin Gallery in
New York City as well as his UK representation with BRP.

Download ELBOW-TOE’s CV