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.