Uriel (formerly Ryan Brewer, b. 1985-2020), is an interdisciplinary artist who works fluidly across sculpture, performance, multimedia, writing, and social practice in an effort to question social realities and intervene as needed. Uriel proposes alternate queer realities using ancient and contemporary mythology alike, often interconnected and stylized, with a commitment to traditional craft techniques (primarily fine woodworking), which highlights Uriel’s working class background and emphasizes ongoing folk art practices.
Uriel’s work formalizes as dynamic, time-based sculptures that evolve and react to themselves and their environments, theatrical installations with coinciding performance events, interpersonally-focused rituals (social sculpture and/or spellcraft), and ongoing research projects, which materialize as publications reflective of the work’s creative processes. A successful end goal is one of disruption, reflection, healing, and joy.
Uriel studied at ArtCenter College of Design [MFA, 2018] and Parsons School of Design [BFA (with Honors), 2011].
Uriel lives and works in West Hollywood, CA.
“Uriel/Ryan Brewer provides amalgamations that address slippages of object function while questioning issues including labor, class, commodification, and time. Viewers of these works are asked to pause and consider craftsmanship in a comprehensive way, ingesting investigations of passive and active labor along with notions of commodity and market. Brewer’s installation […] is as equally impossible to grasp with a cursory glance as it is to consider placing in one’s living room; the need for the viewer to return multiple times to complete an object experience that is engineered to react to both itself and its environment contradicts the paradigm of the autonomous art object, its amorphous nature pointing to other issues (such as gender) where classification begins to fail.”
-Rhiannon Aarons, excerpt from Liminal Subjects, Queer Objects: Questioning as a Statement, 2018