Refined and Unkempt

Silver Circle Gallery

Jan. 1, 2024 - Nov. 27, 2011

75 Main Street
Putnam, Connecticut 6260

The Silver Circle Gallery

in Putnam, CT is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibit “Refined & Unkempt: The Works of Anthony Foronda and George Brin,” on display from November 2 – 27, 2011. The opening reception, Friday November 4th, 2011 from 6-8pm, is a free event that will allow the public to view the artwork and meet the artists.

“Refined & Unkempt”

is a two-man show featuring the work of furniture designer/maker George Brin and illustrator Anthony Foronda, both Northeastern Connecticut natives. The exhibit features a collection of works spanning their careers and is representative of the creative process that both artists have embraced, which is quite similar despite the fact that their work is starkly different.

George Brin

was born in the south Texas town of Corpus Christi in 1971. His passion for art and design eventually found solace at the Rhode Island School of Design where he earned a degree in Industrial Design. He then spent two years developing products for kitchen appliance manufacturers where distaste for mass production and synthetic materials left him with a desperate need to find a purer and more spiritually enriching path. It was then that Brin retreated back to Texas to begin his foray into furniture.

George’s return to the Northeast came about through a large commission with the

Boston architectural firm Office dA. The success of this project led to additional commissions for other New England firms including Machodo & Silvetti, as well as the Providence Firm 3SIX0. Clients included Harvard, MIT, architectural publisher Oscar Rieda Ojeda and author Daniel Goldhagen. These collaborations helped strengthen George’s skills as a designer and emboldened him as a builder. The experiences eventually led to a new collection of furniture for Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers of Maine. Presently, Brin Studio is developing limited runs of new and innovative furniture and products for the general public.

The juxtaposition of refined and unkempt is evident in George Brin’s process and work. Despite the “unattainable perfection” of his design and construction methods, George’s overall creative process is definitely a bipolar one. Says George: “When I begin fabricating a piece of furniture, I see to it that my shop space is as clean and as organized as a surgery room…from this point on, it is as if I have handed my shop over to the Tasmanian Devil.

This disheveled climate…bleeds into my personal state. It is evident that I am simply unable to focus the necessary attention to both my work and myself. I think I prefer it this way.”

Anthony Foronda

was born and raised inside the Washington Beltway. His father was an engraver at the Washington Post. Anthony recalls running through the Post’s hallways as a child, meeting editors and art

directors. When his father brought home the paper in the morning he would look at the illustrations and cartoons. Little did he know he would one day be illustrating the same editorials in the paper that employed his father. Washington and its politics affected him growing up and still do. “I remember growing up in D.C. What I could not comprehend was that here in the nation’s capital of the greatest World Power at the time, as a first generation from an immigrant family (who thought America was the best country in the world)… why were there homeless people living on the streets?” he says. This disconnect did not sit well with him. During the mid eighties in high school he learned what it was like to be an activist. Politics and the Punk Rock scene of D.C. were intertwined around bands like Minor Threat, Government Issue, Black Flag, etc. Political protests against Apartheid and the first Iraq war surrounded him and his friends. The ugliness of inequality and injustice clashed with the warmth of his family and home life. 20 years later as a mature adult, the noise of politics is purposefully blocked out in order to find peace through art. Even though the veneer of political messages hides in the background it is not the main point in his primitive manifestations. The innocence lost is finding its way back into his metaphors.

This show is a small retrospective of work since he graduated from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. The work is a representation of illustrations and art for magazines and newspapers since the 90’s. The work of this year is centered on the icon of a “Bunny” as this is the year of the rabbit in Chinese Zodiac. It is placed in a backdrop of “graffiti” that comes through the subconscious collection of images and doodles. In ancient times it is said that there is a rabbit that lives on the moon looking down. The rabbit metaphor is of reproduction and new life. With the current tide of activism reaching out globally, the events of the day cannot help but be integrated into this icon. The process of filtering through the raw expression of his paintings to simplified and refined forms points to new directions for him to take. Together it is a vision of the “Refined and Unkempt”.

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