In this edition of “Artist Quick Fire,” a series where we ask artists a series of short, pointed questions, FPH spoke with Houston-based multidisciplinary artist Brittney Anele, 24, who has shown work at a variety of Texas galleries and special events, including Kaboom Books, Capitol Street Gallery (fashion show), Houston Pop-Shop (fashion show), and Austin’s Unit C. This Friday, Anele will be showing new work alongside Texas artists Lindsea Varisco and Ellen Phillips in Along Orange Marmalade, the debut exhibition at the newly opened East End gallery Private Eye (1540 Telephone Rd). Read the interview below to learn more about the the young artist and to see what they had to say about their work in the new show, which will feature art in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, painting, technology and performance.
Free Press Houston: You’ve created such variety of work over varied mediums. That being so, what do you consider yourself?
Brittney Anele: I consider myself a transdisciplinary artist, which means I have influences from all of the different mediums and also practice in all of the different mediums. But I try not to separate them, so I have no specific title to what I am, as far as being a painter or a photographer or a designer.
FPH: When did you first become interested in making art? What is your training background?
Anele: I’ve always been kind of different, I guess. And so, from an early age, I started making a lot of art that was a rejection of the things around me. When I was young, I tried taking some art classes, but the teachers didn’t get me. I don’t think you can be taught to be creative. The teachers weren’t really helping me in that area, so I just started exploring drawing on my own. I started doing things with my art that I felt were kind of crazy. And over time, my art started to become more polished. I would say that I’m mostly self taught.
FPH: I’m such a fan of your avant garde fashion designs. Can you tell me your inspiration behind the line of clothing you showed recently during your runway show at Houston Pop-Shop
Anele: That was sort of pieces from over time. That was me going through what I had already and also making a few new things and choosing what I thought was the best. Every one of those pieces, I would say, comes from its own source of inspiration. Whenever I make pieces, I don’t necessarily make a plan of seven garments or something. They just sort of tend to lead into the next one because they’re based off of what I’m experiencing at the time. It just works itself out, but it looks similar and builds on itself.
FPH: As an artist, where do you find your inspiration? Who and what influences your work?
Anele: My influences definitely have a presence in my work. I’m particularly influenced by the work of Les Krims. He’s a photographer. If you look at his photographs, it’s just this undeniable place of insanity because the ideas are so weird, but it’s not coming from a place of trying to be weird. It’s challenging your perception of reality. His use of color definitely inspires me. He uses so much color and so many objects in his work. I guess I’ve never really escaped a sort of vintage aesthetic, so a lot of his work still appeals to me to this day.
FPH: Can you describe the work you’ll be showing at the exhibition at Private Eye?
Anele: In general, I always hope to change people’s perspective on reality through my work, which is also why I love Krims so much. It’s intending to change people’s perception of reality but also in a way that makes them feel comfortable doing it. It’s not shock art, or whatever. It’s supposed to give you a feeling of warmth. The color scheme is very elementary. I use a lot of reds, greens, blues and yellows. There is a lot of childish whimsicalness to these pieces.
“Along Orange Marmalade” opens at Private Eye on Friday, Aug. 11 (7:30 pm to 11 pm).