Summer into Fall 2017

I did not realize until this morning while I sat in Milano Coffee's Gastown location, that my last post to update an announcement was in April of this year upon my return to Canada. Wow, sorry about that!

And yes, you head that right, Gastown ... I will share with you all that I am now between two vibrant Canadian cities, with my current working studio still in Calgary and the hunt for a Vancouver studio presently underway. I am loving the change of scenery in Vancouver, the closeness of the ocean, the growing relationship with my woman, and the ability to present my work to new clients.

I am also very excited to share that Masters Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, has decided to represent my work. I am very pleased with this relationship and the future that exists there with this very reputable and established house. Please make sure to note that while desiring to view or purchase y work. Commissions are still available through me directly, or through the gallery, so please keep that in mind.

Lastly, I am simply grateful to be sharing my work via this website and through my Instagram account, as I have mostly shut down other avenues of social media. Closing off Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all some time ago has allowed me to focus my attention more clearly. This attention and focus is also pushing my work in new directions, as you may have seen by my most recent paintings.

Please stay tuned for the updates, the IG posts, and any announcements for upcoming shows...

Enjoy the summer, enjoy each other, and always be creating!

David

Back to Canada...

What a gorgeous sabbatical and trip to New Zealand! Thank you, thank you, all you Kiwis for your generous hospitality and goodwill. I am amazed at your culture, your geography and your people!

I am not back to Calgary, for the time being, and I am happy to step foot into the Studio 302, once again! There has been a major revamp of the space, opening up the ability for clients and friends to visit and see the latest work, or have a tea and simply catch up.

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for the continued support.

 

David

Happy Holidays

Well, it's been almost 3 months since I left my home town of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and ended up in New Zealand. I've had a great start to my time here and it mostly feels similar to home, with bits of the culture and familiarity of Westernized ways of doing things. I have met the likes of Ben Young and Mr. G, among other talented people in all walks of the creative process; fashion, design, music, painting, sculpture and so forth.

I am pretty excited to see what the new year brings as I am finally set up with a small and quite humble studio space which is completely great and allows me to continue the exploration of my painting.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and of course, a safe and very fun New Years! I will be enjoying the sun, sand, beach and BBQ season in all its fullness!

Be well and thank you for the love, support and appreciation for what I do. 2016 was great!

x's and o's, David

Walk With...

A big thank you to 17th Ave SW RED for the interview this past month. I am loving the new scenery that is around me here in New Zealand, yet reading this and seeing the photos from home are heart warming and also very cool as a reminder of how great Calgary is. Many thanks! Online interview here, or in full, as follows:

Tell us a bit about yourself? (What gets you up in the morning?)

I enjoy creating. I enjoy people. I enjoy stories.

I enjoy culture. I enjoy diversity. I enjoy growth. I enjoy the pulse of a city and also, the easy breath of nature. I enjoy the questions this life holds and the ever present pursuit of knowledge and experience to discover truth. Oh, and I like coffee.

 

Spending 20 years here, what was it about Calgary that inspired you and fueled your art?

I believe at the time of my move from Edmonton, I had an opportunity for a new start and at that time, nearly 20 years ago, it seemed best to make the move and start fresh, in a way. Calgary was and is a lot more corporate than Edmonton, and so I had a big challenge ahead of me with not knowing anyone within the art scene here, all the while painting a style of art that most considered childish, a form of vandalism or otherwise unofficial and less than desirable. Calgary became more and more like home as I forged into my field, making new pathways for my art form and other artists, alike. I am inspired by the “challenge” and Calgary presented many challenges and still does, culturally, though its grown a long way.

 

Formerly a graffiti artist, you’ve expanded your works into fine art. How did that transformation come to be?

It’s been an absolutely incredible journey to this day, let me tell you! I had no idea that I would end up where I am today! I had no concept of formal schools of thought toward art, fine art or anything of that matter. In fact, I still am very classically unschooled in my definitions and history, but now I am a little more well versed in the actual aspect of painting, use of light and color, materials and so forth. The actual story as to how this transition came to be is too long to print, and though some know it well, most would still view me as a graffiti artist, and that definition does suit me well, though I have started my transfer into fine art (though, could someone please define that for me…). I believe that pursuing what I love to do, with resilience and with desire, with total commitment and courage with a willingness to learn a lot, is the foundation to success, in any field (as well as having some actual talent).

 

Where do you sell your Le Hvy Styl Est clothing brand?

Le Hvy Styl Est., or The Heavy Style Establishment, is an ongoing hobby craft of mine. In actual fact, so far all my brands besides my personal brand (David Brunning/TheKidBelo), are other outlets for fun, creative express, whether it’s LeHvy, Death Defeated or Fades For Days. I would like to set up a shop online, but so far, it’s quite niche and therefore more scarce than common. I like it that way for the time being…

 

 

 

What is your favourite thing about the 17th Ave?

My favorite thing about 17th Ave is the accessibility for all. It’s a hot spot through the spring to fall, and it comes wonderfully alive in the summer. I truly enjoy my corner, my podium, at 7th and 17th (Analog Coffee).

 

Favourite place to shop on 17th Ave?

I do not have a favorite place to shop on 17th Ave, though I do enjoy so many places and I make sure not only to visit them, purchasing from them time to time, but also recommend them to many others. I am more the type to peruse the strip, wander the blocks, connecting with many at restaurants and shops alike, poppin’ in with a smile and a hug. You see, 17th Ave has been in my neighbourhood for over a decade now, and it’s home to me so I want others to see it as such and treat it as such, whether they shop, eat, drink or just hang out.

 

Best place for a night out, and hidden gems?

I truly enjoy Una so much (both sides); the Ship, once and a while, because it’s such a staple; National, when Devo or one of my friend’s is playing music; Analog always, for that corner stop sippin’ tea type spot is great for conversation and meeting up (it’s perfectly situated), and the list could go on, as again, it’s home and very familiar.

 

What would you like to see on 17th Ave in the future?

I would love to see 17th Ave more walkable, both in the summer and the winter. I would like to see more parks/green space, wider sidewalks accommodated by a generous single lane road, rather than the two lanes presented now. I would like to see creative architectural layout towards its structure, beautiful murals (not advertising painted everywhere), heat lamps (for winter) in certain areas, and the ability to enjoy this close-to-the-core space.

I would love to see more unique retail stores intermixed with those big box retailers. The price for rent PSF on the Ave can be quite monstrous, which can easily destroy small business and start-ups. I don’t think the cost of doing business on the Ave allows for many great, creative ventures to get up and running, which in turn takes away our ability to add to the culture and presence of this unique area of the city. In order to sustain and grow this area, I believe it each business needs to be dealt with differently, before it becomes a Robson street (if I may say that).

 

 

You recently celebrated 10 years at your studio and are making the move to New Zealand for an extended stay…tell us about that. 

Yes, thank you! I left a really good and successful job position at Holt Renfrew in September of 2006 to pursue my artwork full time and as of this past September, I celebrated ten years of that pursuit and the reality of my now, career. To mark this event, I have decided to not only travel within the realm of a professional sabbatical, but also release “Decade”, a short film captured in two parts, filmed by Nick Thomas with DDG (Deluxe Design Group), as well as the very colorful and sculptural backdrop that has hosted the creation of my paintings in Studio 302 for the last ten years. All this information is found on my personal site, with the videos on my Vimeo (under TheKidBelo), or hosted to my Facebook page.

New Zealand hosts a few people I love dearly, and desire to be around and about with, as well as numerous artists I’ve desired to meet, study under or create with. I am excited to see the country, to learn more of its culture, to soak up the art, the stories, the views and learn what comes next in my journey.

 

Thank you for the interview and the opportunity to share.

See you soon, in the future, Calgary!

David

 

 

Traveling

Currently, I am writing from my room in rain-drenched Portland, Oregon, about to head out to the sun-rich North Shore of Oahu, before landing in the season of my life...

I am quite excited to be called out during the winter months in Calgary to invade the summer months in a new country for the next half a year or more. As of October 22, 2016, I will be residing in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, living with some very gracious and amazing friends and learning more about this country and its culture during my stay.

I have always desired to see this land and to live near the ocean, so I am hitting two birds with one stone, so to speak. Years and years ago I heard of Phat1 through a few friends and also through his known graffiti work which I admired, and which runs close in hand with some of the other admirable NZ writers I look up to. Back then I desired to move to NZ at some point and study or work under him, if it were possible. I realize now that he and his wife are quite talented and so it would be an honor to actually meet them both and the other talented individuals in this country.

I also am excited to be living near Mr. G, as he recently returned home to Tauranga, NZ, from living in Sydney, Australia, and so I look forward to possibly getting some collaborative color up on some walls with this talent house. I am sure my art will continue to change and develop as I spend time there and meet others, experiencing this rich culture.

I am excited to share this journey with you all. Thank you for the continued support and love toward my work. Thank you Will & Marie for so graciously and radically inviting me to New Zealand.

For those in Canada, my current paintings are still available. Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you be interested. I've recently updated my site with a slight change in its appearance and some changes in content, so follow along in the RSS feed or through my Instagram account/link.

Thank you all.

Bless,

David B