Ryan Brewer is an interdisciplinary artist who works in a wide range of practices including sculpture, performance, multimedia, writing, and social practice. Brewer’s current work employs a wide field of media to challenge notions of gender, identity, and power by proposing alternative queer mythologies through erotic expressionism, analytical psychology, and metaphysical experimentation. Brewer’s art practice seeks to re-envision the role of queer identity in the 21st century; to explore (or complicate) relationships between desire, shame, oppression, and freedom.
Brewer’s early work, founded in traditional sculpture, consisted of performance installations featuring an apparatus made of industrial materials (steel, aluminum, concrete, acrylic, polyresin, fluorescent light) for ambiguous use. These works required rigorous physical training in various circus arts, including aerial fabrics, pole dancing, and other gymnastics. Extreme physical exertion and exercises in defiance of physical laws occasionally lead to the destruction of the sculpture, with systemic (and transcendental) failure as consistent themes.
The transition from sculpture to performance work used the “self” as a primary material via exercises, introspection, and research on various interdependent planes: intuitive modes of observation, scholastic dependence for contextualization, and a collaborative spirit to keep processes in-check and grounded. Relying heavily upon Jungian Archetypes, Brewer’s work concerned itself with the study, creation, and embodiment of personae. These identities were explored through various collaborations between Brewer and AA Bronson from 2011-2012. Their body of work consists of performance photography documenting rituals enacted publicly in the Meat Rack, a maze of sex paths that joins the two gay communities of Fire Island, NY. Many came here to spend their last days during the era of AIDS; the works honor that haunted history and have since been exhibited internationally.
In 2013, Brewer further explored personae (as psychological, cultural, and artistic phenomena) through the creation of a performance-as-commerce project Bebe Daddy Services. As the owner/operator, Brewer worked under the pseudonym Bebe Daddy. The venture arose out of a carpenter-in-the-nude service that initially investigated sex work and gender stereotypes while turning profit. The project has since developed into a full design+build firm and a clothing line Bebe Daddy Apparel, with sales benefiting local non-profits. In 2015, the Bebe Daddy persona was absorbed into a gay-themed home renovation TV show pilot. (Logo TV, unaired)
Currently, Brewer is working on Cosmogenesis, a long-term book project (2010-ongoing) as well as The Tower, a multimedia project exploring future mythology through sculpture, science, and fantasy architecture. Brewer currently studies at ArtCenter College of Design [MFA Candidate, 2018].
Brewer lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.