A ‘Minnesota Original’

A little more than a couple of months ago, artist Bryan Holland was being filmed by a crew from Twin Cities Public Television.

He said it was a little “surreal” while the footage was being shot for the segment, which recently was broadcast on “Minnesota Original,” a Twin Cities Public Television show.

Holland, a Marshall High School graduate, will have his works on display Tuesday through June 28 at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center. An artist reception will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, June 9.

Holland said he was contacted by the show earlier this year, that his work was noticed online. He said he wasn’t too familiar with the show. After a couple of phone calls, an in-studio interview was set up in mid-March, and it lasted for four to five hours, he said.

He was originally told that it probably wouldn’t broadcast until the fall, but the segment was just aired on May 10.

“It was great, it was wonderful,” Holland said about being on “Minnesota Original.” “It was a good experience, and I’m glad they found my work and was able to do it.”

Holland said he’s always had an interest in art. He remembers that as a child he was fascinated with dinosaurs and drawing them. He also would get together with a friend in elementary school, and the two would draw.

“I guess I never lost interest,” Holland said.

After graduating from Marshall, he went to Alexandria Technical College for a degree in graphic design.

“I worked for a number of years, after doing it for a while, I wanted to try college,” he said. So he went to Sioux Falls (S.D.) College, now known as the University of Sioux Falls. There, Holland got more interested in the fine arts.

Holland said he worked at the college in Sioux Falls for awhile before deciding to go back for his master’s degree at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

“And I’ve been painting ever since,” he said. He now lives in St. Peter.

Holland works primarily in oils. His most recent work is mixed media, using painting, collage, found art, image transfer techniques and other experimentation. On his website, Holland said his work is influenced by graphic design, vintage art, painting, photography, mythology and a little bit of science and philosophy.

Sometimes an artwork may take awhile as he’s waiting for inspiration, Holland said.

In his artist statement, Holland said there are a lot of ways to think about art, and that painters fall into two broad categories: painters who try to paint realistically, using technique and perspective to fool viewers into perceiving a 3-D image on their canvas and those who do not.

“I’ve been obsessed with merging these two disparate ideas,” he said.

Holland said he loves to create a sense of depth, and then “throw viewers back to the idea that there is no depth, only a flat surface.” In his artist statement, he said his work is marked by that tension between fragments of reality and figments of fantasy.

Recently, Holland began working on a series of animal paintings based on photos he’d taken at zoos or museums.

“These are combined with a combination of collage material to invoke a feeling of old circus ads, weathered billboards, collage,” he said in his artist statement. “I enjoy the contrast between illusionistic painting techniques and the flattening effect of two dimensional design elements. The tension created between these two different ideas is something that I’ve explored in my work for a long time and can be seen in most of my work.”

“I like things that are sort of taken out of context,” Holland added.

His work has been exhibited in Grand Junction, Colo., Denver, Colo., Chautauqua, N.Y., Los Angeles and Mankato and has been published in several journals.