Brian Andreas, StoryPeople - Decorah, Iowa
Brian Andreas is a storyteller whose tales are rendered in prints, books, wall figures from recycled barn wood, and furniture.
"I've always made up things, from the earliest time I can remember, but it wasn't until the last several years that I figured out what that meant: I am a storyteller. With that flash of understanding, my life suddenly became much less complicated. My life & my art became as easy as breathing for me. What I do is what I have always done; I'm no longer casting about looking for what I will do with my life. As an example, my emphasis for my degree in Fiber & Mixed Media was in Electronic Community; I think of my ongoing interest like this story as the fiber of human community. Like a weaving, my life is composed of many strands that all blend together in a more or less coherent fashion (but I'm sure this is only a transient phenomenon, as some days I'm convinced that incoherence is our most natural state of being...)
Where did StoryPeople come from? Like pearls on a necklace, I can pick out important points that lead one into the next. I was carving stone, slowing down & listening to the stone tell me what it needed. In that slowing down, I learned the dialogue that is at the center of art & life. There are no clear & final answers, there are only discussions that are filled with a moment. There was my impatience with the soulessness of American art, disguising a lack of substance with layers of intellectual tripe. Everywhere I was seeing art that was superficially beautiful & technically crafted, but that had no heart. I was unwilling to do that myself. I wanted to bring the dramatic into visual art, not in the esoteric, distanced way I saw in performance art, but with the time-honored lusty energy of the popular theatre.
Those were some of the places StoryPeople came from. There are others, too. There was Ellen telling me we needed more color in our house. We were raising children, laughing & yelling & wondering how to teach about the world we each knew & there was the time constraint children bring with them: instead of weeks to complete a piece, now I had an hour a day.
Those are all reasons, yet none of them are the real reasons for StoryPeople. I like to tweak people. I like to play. I like to laugh. I like to dress in robes & wave incense around the room as I try to conjure up ghosts. I like to walk in the mud & let the rain run down my back. I like to walk up slowly to cats & then bark so loud I scare them silly. I like to speak to the dead. I like to dream up advertising promotions for new religions. I like to stare into the fire & listen to the shadows whisper their secrets. I like to stand up in public places & ask people why we can't do things another way. I like to act as if I know everything on certain days. On other days, I admit to nothing. I like to remember that this is only one life & I'll probably look back at the end & say "0, that's what I was doing". I like to take time to listen to my heart, because it hasn't led me astray yet.
For more information on StoryPeople's work, including what we might have in stock, please email or call us at 319.351.8686.