Brendan John Carroll
Brendan John Carroll earned a Bachelor’s degree at Providence College, where he studied psychology and art. After graduation, he moved to New York City to develop as a painter while also working at Columbia University’s Division of Neuroscience. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Arts in 2011. Carroll’s paintings have been shown in galleries in Baltimore, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee, and Sweden. His art is included in the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. His paintings have been reviewed in Modern Painters, Art Maze Mag, Dallas Observer, D Magazine, and Burnaway. Writing is also a constant part of his studio practice. Carroll has written catalogue essays for artists such as Shara Hughes and Austin Eddy, as well as contributing to publications such as Salon.com, Painters on Painting, and Burnaway.
Carroll lives and works in Guilford, Connecticut and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Through the use of oil paint, resin and wax, my paintings appear as damaged abstract frescos revealing a smooth vibrant window-like layer below. They portray the physical interface between myth and reality, sentimentality and pragmatism, culture and the individual.
The largest aesthetic influences in my life have come from stained glass windows and modernist painting. I grew up Catholic and spent every Sunday morning in church. I remember an overwhelming sense of boredom that was only sometimes relieved by looking at the pictures illustrated on the stained-glass windows and fresco walls. Similarly, I remember drudging through museums filled with portraits and pottery shards just to be thrilled by the abstract expressionists in the modernist wing. In both instances, I was awe-struck by the depiction of color, gesture, materials and existential/spiritual drama.
As I have grown older, I find myself returning to these fascinations with a sense of ambivalence. I might want faith in a destiny that will result in greatness and I may want to feel pride in the histories and traditions of my ancestors or the communities that raised me. And yet, I am suspicious of heroes and desperate to define my own new identity and accommodate the contemporary.