REN Gallery in collaboration with Dot Red is proud to present "COLORED IN CULTURE". In this solo exhibition we explore Clairfoster Browne’s surrealist world with both paintings and wall mounted masks. Clairfoster is African American, and though some of his work might be considered afro-centric, he also expresses a world of mixed cultures, one of all races and backgrounds, one of acceptance and love, with mystic symbols seemingly a created by a mash-up of several cultural icons. The work explores all four seasons as well as space, ancient gods and animals, people from past to present all and self portraits. Browne works in many mediums, painting with acrylics, spray paint, texturizing his canvases by layering and defining his strokes with ink, oil sticks, and gouches. He loves repurposing found objects, creating sculptures out of pieces of wood that he sources each month as the constant heartbeat of downtown LA pulses, people move away and leave their dresser drawers and old furniture discarded in the alleyways. "One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” a quote his mother used to tell him that he has taken to heart. "There is a certain satisfaction to repurposing something, making it beautiful again in a whole new way.” That rapid pulse of the city is felt in his vibrantly colored paintings and large scale sculptural masks.
Clairfoster Josiah Browne is a self taught artist from Los Angeles. His artistic inspiration was sparked at a young age. The fire was lit when his 4th grade teacher recognized he was drawing in class (rather than listening to her) but she saw talent and took him to the Warner Brothers studio with a few other artistically driven kids in the class. There he was able to meet the animators and illustrators who worked as artists for a living; one of whom gave him a stack of artist sketches. It was at that point on that he knew art was something he wanted to make for the rest of his life. Clairfoster poured over the drawings and started emulating the designs, teaching himself form and function in his pen strokes, learning about perspective and depth. He refined his talents, and continues to do so as a graphic designer under his own company, Klerforest, and a collaborative company, Unequal People. While Clairfoster attributes much of his success to that teacher, he also credits another influential mentor who came in the form of a visiting community leader from Africa whom Clairfoster hosted during his stay in Los Angeles. He shared with Clairfoster an African Proverb: "If you want to travel fast… travel alone. If you want to travel far… travel with others.” He embodies living in a race-less world, that by inclusion rather than exclusion, we can travel much further. You will also find Clairfoster mentoring inner city youth through Faith in Christ Ministries and S.A.Y. Yes (Saving America’s Youth). He is particularly drawn to youth populations because he understands how his path was forged at an early age through the seemingly innocuous actions of his 4th grade teacher.