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Brian Bress (b. 1975, Norfolk, VA) is a video artist whose work incorporates performance, painting and sculpture, often placing life-sized humanoid figures behind the separating skin of a monitor screen, sharing a ritual and offering a curious companionship. Describing himself as coming to video with the agenda of a painter, Bress addresses the connections between film, photography, and painting—and the two-dimensional picture plane they share—in his single- and multi-channel video work.

Presented as wall-mounted HD monitor works, Bress’s videos unfold as a soundless, digital loop in which isolated actors (often the artist himself) perform in various forms of dress. The faces, torsos, and arms of these characters are obscured by painted masks and suits. They face frontal and use the HD monitor’s screen as a picture plane through which they cut with reciprocating saws to reveal their own presence. In making a video act like a painting or a sculpture, Bress uses the physical terms of other mediums to investigate how screen-based communication works in our culture. Bress pulls apart the assumption that picture looking—or screen-watching—is a passive, one-sided relationship.

Bress received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998 and his MFA from the University of California in 2006.

Bress’s work has been included in group and solo exhibitions at the LACMA, CA; Weisman Art Museum, MN; Figge Art Museum, IA; Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China; Akron Art Museum, OH; and Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, among others. Bress lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.