* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Nashville, Tennessee based artist Brian Tull uses both oil and acrylic paint to create photorealistic images that embody a tone of wistfulness, nostalgia, and ease through allegory. As a self-taught artist, he has a technical sophistication that is so impressive and alluring it’s hard to not look at the work and wonder how someone could possibly create such an image by hand. Tull’s work combines his fascination of a bygone era, a time that he believes to have been “…simple, more genuine and honest,” with his truly sensational ability to render the real world.
Brian describes his work by saying, “Born in 1975, the only option I have to remember the 1940’s and ‘50’s, is through my imagination. I let my mind visit the people, their era, stories and photographs, then I translate my own narrative through painting. Headlights on a two-lane highway, sun rays through trees, trains on a rainy night. They come from small towns and large towns. I see paintings in folk songs from the ‘30’s, passersby on the streets, and in the gospel the preacher talked about on Sunday morning. Ideas for my paintings come from the past and present, from all things nostalgic. My strategically cropped paintings in oil and acrylic are sometimes confrontational and often feature the female figure as protagonist, giving you a subtle glimpse into the characters’ lives. Usually leaving you wondering what or who is beyond the edges, you might find yourself squinting to see what’s being reflected in the gleaming chrome in some of my pieces. More hints about the setting might be found by studying a car in the painting, or a woman’s dress, shoes, or jewelry; the color of her lipstick. My compositions can range from graphic-oriented realism with images rich in unmixed color and bound by hard edges, to true photorealism using original, staged photographs as source material. Staging the photograph for the painting reference is essential, as I rarely change anything throughout the painting process. Everything must be period correct.”