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The City Journals

Murray City Hall garnished with Jordan Brun’s ‘GARISH’

Apr 09, 2018 04:13PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Murray Resident Artist Jordan Brun’s “GARISH” series is on display at City Hall. (Photo/Jordan Brun)

You certainly don’t miss the neon Wonder Woman staring at you at Murray City Hall. Not to worry, the glowing superhero is there as part of Jordan Brun’s Resident Artist exhibition. The Murray artist and Brighton High School art teacher’s works can be seen on display in Murray City Hall’s main hallway.

“The ‘GARISH’ series is my attempt at Pop Art as viewed through my own morbid curiosity,” explained Brun. “I began the series in 2009, with an oversexualized version of a cartoony Barbarella. Since then, the neon colors and layers of spray paint and marker have stayed, but the pieces have become more and more detailed and realistic in texture, value and layering.” 

Indeed, neon hasn’t been this plentiful since the 1980s. Brun claims “GARISH” as his most prolific series, with subjects including portraits of celebrities, fictional characters, fantastical creatures, and human oddities. The series includes over 100 pieces and continues to grow. His works stray beyond the 16” x 20” standard canvas size. 

“My biggest piece is currently 30” by 40”, and the larger I work, the more I am able to explore the small textures and many values and color shifts within the subject.”

Brun studied art education at Michigan State University under Dr. Charles Steele and received a BFA in art education and an MA in art education at Eastern Michigan University in 2007. He developed his style while teaching at Plymouth Canton Community Schools and working on a number of independent films in the greater Detroit area. His film work can be seen in “War Flowers” and “Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.”

In 2011, he moved to Utah and has illustrated a coloring book, had his work appear in both a documentary and a feature-length film, exhibited regularly at local galleries, and taught elementary, middle and high school age students, as well as private lessons.

“I have a great need to have my thoughts escape my mind and become trapped on a page, canvas or wood,” he said. 

“I love to see reactions to my work, positive or negative—I feel that if my work has evoked an emotional response in someone, then I have been successful.”

His works are regularly exhibited at the Urban Arts Gallery in Salt Lake City, and he will be curating a show there in January 2019 titled “Those Who Can’t...”, which will showcase the work and philosophy of Utah visual arts educators. He is also a permanent fixture in Fashion Place Mall’s Young Art Lessons, where he is a teacher.

“Teaching gives me the chance to work with over a hundred different students each semester, each with a different way of approaching the challenges I give them. I have learned more from teaching others than I ever could on my own,” Brun said. 

“GARISH” is his most prolific and promoted, but he also has another series titled “Bling,” with portraits of women from around the world adorned with an overabundance of ornamental jewelry, done in acrylic paint, marker and gold leaf.  

His other works include “Libram Arcanus” which is a prop spell book, created using traditional calligraphic techniques and Viking runic alphabets, and utilizing ink, silver leaf and paint pens.  “Oldey Timey” uses late 1800’s photography as a source material, adding animal heads onto the subjects, creating an anthropomorphic connection done in coffee stain with ink on paper.

“Art by itself, hanging on a wall, is a pointless endeavor. The act of its creation provides me with a therapeutic release, and it’s cheaper than therapy, and it is my hope that seeing my work evokes an emotional response in others which can engage them visually.”