Mar. 13, 2013 - Issue #908: In Your Face
"I'm trying to make something fantastical," states deBruyn, whose exhibition Of/Off Course is currently up at Harcourt House. The title is also a nod to this being the first time deBruyn has had to ship any of his installations, as opposed to his usual process of constructing them on-site.
"I saw that this is a change in course and it's a departure from what I usually do," he adds. "The pieces on the wall that I did end up shipping, they fit together; they can be read as a course, kind of like a Hot Wheels track."
DeBruyn's interest in skateboarding dates back to his teenage days, when he began dabbling in carpentry in order to build obstacles and ramps. This transferred to art five or six years ago, when deBruyn's focus shifted from obstacles to artistic installations, which often encompass all facets of a gallery space from floor to ceiling.
"I was always trying to be an artist, but I kind of found my stride with that," he notes, adding skateboard culture may be the foundation of his work, but it isn't the only focus. "That's a raw ingredient, an inspiration. It's not really about skateboarding at all. It's mostly about shapes and wood and materials and forms and colours. It's a raw ingredient, right? But it's the flour in the bread or the lettuce in the salad. There's lots of other things."
Another constant in deBruyn's work is the use of found materials whenever possible. Whether the wood for his pieces comes from the side of the road or a construction site or a friend's garage, it's given new life and purpose through deBruyn's whimsical and intricate work.
"Sometimes a piece of wood can have a history to it," deBruyn says. "A couple of times I've gotten signs from restaurants. They'll get a new one so I'll have this 20-year-old sign that has been painted and I can cut it up. Usually it's not recognizable as that in the end, but I'll know it's there. It still has an inherent history to it. I don't necessarily use that history, but I know it's there."
Until Fri, Apr 12
Works by Steven deBruyn
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