An international, New York City based artist, Brigid McGivern is committed to exploring the inherent properties, color, and luminosity of form in works that move seamlessly between approaches. From naturalist abstraction and neo-expressionist narrative, this artist has created an oeuvre that is compelling in its diversity. McGivern’s primary focus is a unique approach to painting, utilizing signature mixed media methods. With an extensive array of styles and techniques within her art, her aesthetic is vast but always grounded in mood, response, and the physicality of her materials.
1. How do you describe your work?
2. What’s your preferred medium to express yourself and you work? How did you come into working that way?
I start my paintings on the floor so I can look down on them as a whole. The detail comes in later. I work from the outside in. I primarily paint on canvas, panel, and wood. I was trained as a graphic designer and starting drawing in pastels using blurred images I would take on a broken phone as reference. This eventually led to my painting style which I found very freeing after meticulous design work that always had a corporate purpose.
3. Where did you grow up and do you think that’s affected, at all, your vision as an artist?
I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. And while I appreciated the education and safety - I found my childhood creatively limiting. There was little diversity on many levels and life outside of that always fascinated me. I never really felt a part of where I was. I was constantly trying to express what was inside of me. Most of the time it wasn’t constructive expression. That came later in life.
4. What triggers your imagination?
The connection of people and spirit. Anything from complete despair to total triumph and peace. And the beauty around me. I can always find it. Even in the middle of a bustling metropolis - there are stunning peaceful sanctuaries.
5. What are some instagram accounts or artists that you particularly enjoy / are inspired from?
@andrea_marie_breiling @robinfrancescawilliams @er_lifedrawings
6. What was your dream growing up as a child?
To be an artist and live in New York City but I still feel I’m working on that!
7. What has become most important to you or your work at this moment in your life?
To meditate before I paint. This allows me to truly understand why I am creating something and to calm any insecurities that may hold me back. It allows me to be honest and purposeful in my work.
8. Is there any specific moment(s) or memory in your life that pushed you definitively towards the arts or to pursue your creative ambitions?
I’ve had many moments reaffirming my creative ambition. But I never felt I had a choice to do it or not. I’ve always needed to create visually. I do not feel i would be a whole person if I didn’t.
9. What does your work mean to you? If anything at all?
Every piece means something different and I tend to stay private because I think like most artwork - meaning changes to suit where I am in life. I like to hear what it means to other people.
10. What is your definition of ‘art’, even if it’s total bullshit?
I think it’s the most important companion to the human race. Its meaning and its comfort changes as one needs it to. It questions and feeds us intellectually. And it’s reliable. You can always turn to it.
11. What do you have coming up next?
I show regularly at Con Art Collective in New York and I will have work in Spectrum at Miami Basel.