Painting by Bri Circel

For the past decade I have been a full-time painter working on building my body of work, selling to collectors, gaining representation from galleries including numerous features and solo shows in both Los Angeles and Manhattan, as well as working with clientele like Reebok and Adidas.

While my artistic focus is painting in oil, my background is in film editing with no formal painting training. All of my techniques and style have been self-developed through experimentation.

I studied at the California College of the Arts in Oakland and developed a love for film and editing that led to my Bachelor’s degree in Film and Media.

After graduating I worked as a resident artist for a prop-house in Hollywood where I painted backdrops for movies and commercials. There, I learned many new mediums like oil paint, air brush, and spray paint through trial and error. As my skills grew, my artistic aspirations intensified and after a few years of making background set dressings, I decided to focus on creating art and showing in galleries on a professional level.

I first developed my style and started building a collection and showing around LA, until eventually finding my voice and gaining representation at galleries on both coasts.

Over the years I’ve expanded my thematic collections, mostly focusing on social politics and women’s relationship to art as subject matter. My background in film has inspired my painting aesthetic by compelling me to deliver story through combinations of elements that build and compete to create context and direct commentary.

Painting by Bri Circel

I believe images of women created by women are important. Even more so when the images are made for other women.

We have not had equal opportunity in representation throughout history, leading to images, art, and advertising being embedded with patriarchal structures that propagate misogyny and power imbalances.

We were held back from reading, speaking, learning, and looking. These restrictions gave men total control over Women, our bodies, our identity, and how we are perceived and appear to this day.

I make paintings of women that employ the standard male gaze to attract attention, but then fracture the composition and make commentary with text and negative space to question the conditioned attitudes we hold towards female personhood and sexuality.

My paintings combine bold text and graphic design with photo realistic imagery sourced from commercial culture and art history.

Using a multi-stage method of masking, painting in oil, and layering, I create dynamic interactions between text and imagery that can be viewed in various ways and challenge how visual information is prioritized. By examining how image, text, and the brain’s need to find meaning all intersect, I ask choices to be made about how voyeurism, academics, porn and fine art are distinguished from each other — and who decides.

It is important for me to question who’s values are allowed representation and fight to take up space in a visual world that is still dominated by men who create and control images of women.


Painting by Bri Circel

What continues to motivate you to create your work?

My brain never stops creatively, and I’ve always been this way. I start feeling restless and anxious when I’m not making something or have a project going. It can be problematic because I can’t turn it off and sometimes I just want to be in the moment.

Who or what influences your practice?

Women and their relationship to art and history. I never realized growing up that most portrayals of women were by men, and that women were held back from representing themselves. But I’ve always felt the disconnection of narrative and learned to express it with design and art.

How would you describe the mood of your work?

Design driven, cold, clean, control freak.

What do you feel is the most challenging part of being an artist?

Currently my struggle is being banned and deleted on social media for my paintings, which makes it difficult to network. But in general, sacrificing a regular income has enabled my creative freedom, but held me back from owning things like cars and houses, which becomes increasingly awkward as you get older.

Tell us something about your creative life that you are proud of.

I’m a self-taught painter who’s learned everything I know from obsession, experimentation, and determination. Also, I have an incredibly supportive family and partner who’ve always accepted me and encouraged me to grow artistically, and I’m so grateful.

Painting by Bri Circel
Painting by Bri Circel