Full Circle Press
Brunel Faris was not just an extremely talented artist, but a catalyst for building a strong arts community in the metro. “Juxtapositions: Brunel Faris and the Visual Arts in Oklahoma City” celebrates the life and work of the man who died in 2005, yet lives on among the many people he inspired.
Written by Christiane Faris and Margaret Flansburg “ his wife and colleague, respectively “ the book briefly covers Brunel Faris’ upbringing before delving deeper into his three-decade career as an educator at Oklahoma City University, plus his service and contributions to the local arts scene overall. But any book can tell you how great a man was; it’s nice to be shown proof of that, as well.
On that point, “Juxtapositions” does not disappoint, with dozens and dozens of varied examples of his art, many reprinted in vibrant color. As these pictures show, his touch was deft among all media “ quasi-abstract watercolors, cartoony sketches of sophistication, collages that pop with cultural touchstones (including “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”) and even Greek nudes drawn onto kitchen walls.
And then there’s his acclaimed “Variables” series. These experimental pieces from the 1970s were comprised of images painted onto squares, then scrambled at random, much like those cheap kid’s toys “ no car trip of that era was complete without one “ where one slides tiles until a picture forms from an initial scene of scattered chaos.
The slim volume is admittedly not definitive, but is full of images of terrific art that makes it a must for anyone interested in our state’s own pen-and-paint legends.