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Brian David Braun's Organic Ghosts to Haunt HuB Sarasota


SARASOTA -- HuB Sarasota will present the original photography series Organic Ghosts, by renowned Sarasota photographer Brian David Braun. Braun, whose work has been featured on album covers, book jackets, and even in major New York City studios has been called one of the best young photographers in the south. The installation features 35 large-format silk prints. The showing opens October 18, and coincides with the grand opening of the HuB's second level. 


Organic Ghosts is an ongoing body of work, part of a series of photos taken over six years in Myakka State Forest. There will be live music, refreshments, artwork and a retrospective slide show at the installation opening. 

“It's a constantly evolving body of work,” said Braun. “I've literally worked on this near-daily for the past six years.”

The Myakka State Forest has been Braun's ongoing muse and despite his well-received work with everything from human subjects such as models and musicians, to classic cars and the ghost town landscapes of areas ravaged by phosphate mining in Florida's “Bone Valley,” it's been his unique eye for nature that has spawned perhaps his best work.

Shooting with everything from high end SLR's to vintage cameras with cracked lenses, Braun can find a touch of the surreal in almost anything. In addition to his gifted eye for exploiting natural light, he has demonstrated a talent in post-editing that is itself, an impressive art form.

Manically shooting thousands of frames at a time, the 6'4”, 250-pound chain-smoking photographer plows through the landscape like a bull in a china shop, only breaking for cigarettes and the occasional laceration. Once a shoot is complete, the real work begins. Hundreds of hours pouring through the endless stream of shots, toying with edits, trying to decide where the money shot lies.

Cursed with an artist's temperament and an almost comical disdain for convention, he'll sometimes wander off onto completely different subjects – anything from Libertarian politics to early 70's punk music – and can often lose track of time. He's the first to acknowledge this and explains that while he's managed to make our interview, he'd missed one with a local radio station that afternoon, leaving a few people creased.

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“I'm an artist,” he laughs. “You've got to pin me down in three-hour windows. When I get the urge to do something, I've gotta go with it.”

The last time I interviewed him, Braun was without wheels and fretting over an eventual eviction from his pad just off the Tamiami Trail in North Sarasota. This time he pulled up in a shiny Mercedes Benz, purchased with the spoils of a dust-cover shot for a best selling novelist. Indeed, it seems Braun went from bus pass to E-class in only one move.

“It's feast or famine in this business,” he says with a sneer. “I'm either broke or loaded and usually broke. But this car has ruined me. I can never go back to a junker,” he laughs. “It's good motivation.”

Braun's ups and downs are par for the course in an area long recognized as fertile ground for established artists who can exploit a deep market funded by wealthy retirees, while having few channels to benefit emerging artists, despite a dense population of talented creatives. That's why he's so excited about HuB's decision to showcase his work.

“They're the only people out there in this area buying this kind of contemporary art,” he explains. “They're interested in drawing attention to something that's been an untapped resource here for a long time – young artists on the way up, struggling to make it. Without patrons who see the value in developing that sort of work and getting it into the foreground, you can't have the kind of art culture that Sarasota likes to think of itself as already having. You've got to feed it.”

The opening will be held Friday, October 18, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the HuB, 1680 Fruitville Road Sarasota, FL 34236.


Photo Gallery: Ringling by Brian David Braun

Published Monday, February 13, 2012 2:03 am


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