Brent Leopold (The Human Artist Vending Machine) is originally from the "Washington Metropolitan area" in Maryland and moved to Central Pennsylvania in his late twenties where he currently lives. He is the son of a scientist and a prolific artist and a brother to two siblings. His parents divorced when he was young but still finds understanding and love from his mother, brother and sister in everything he is to everything he does.
“Life is strange when you think about it. Part of your soul is to find a soul mate but then too many bring life into the world and then just leave them to the world.” - Brent Leopold
Leopold started as a poet and found ways to deal the emotions of human separation from his father. Poetry was the vessel that started Brent through his journey of creating. Poetry led him to express his emotions also visually through collage art using newspaper headlines and gluing images that he had twisted up. He then started drawing and his early works had influences from Dadaism and the art movement from the early twentieth century. From there on he started to draw what he saw and eventually put all artistic drive towards drawing. Brent Leopold is not a compliant person or artist. He finds that using new ideas in everything he does is the key to a successful piece of art.
“I am fond of searching, learning, puzzles, patterns and just thinking outside the box.” “My drive is more about creativity than any other thing and at this age I am thinking my art might be based upon just being fidgety.” – Brent Leopold
In the past he attended clubs regularly from his teens to his early twenties and loved taking risks with his friends. They spoke of ideology being the mix of all things and crazy ideas helped fuel his artwork even more. Being that he is a non-compliant artist he loved to break the rules and create innovation within creation itself.
Inspiration comes from many things and people in this world. There is no direct route to the artist that most influenced Brent Leopold for he is ever changing, experimental and believes in making art that wasn’t influenced by another. With the classic artists such as Dali, Matta, Yves Tanguy, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud Giger, he finds even more inspiration from new artists like James Jean. Brent loves the organized chaos in his mentality and the ability to take random ideas and merge them into one cohesive story.
“James Jean’s drawing book is just freaking amazing and crazy. He has a busy brain. I try not to be influenced by artists. It is a hard thing to do but it is so easy to put their work into yours and not realized you did that. Artist Identity is very important. I am not saying what I am doing is that different than any ones else and I don't have a true set goal and that makes it easy not to be influenced. My goal isn't being part of the Pop Surrealism world or Graffiti world. I feel there is already great and well-established artists so what do I have to offer to that world? Would I like my art if I did just copy their art structure and put my own stamp on it? Likely not and I would get bored of my processes?” - Brent Leopold
Brent shares that the world in which we live in is ever confusing in the opinion of it having mixed messages.
“Janet Jackson can't show anything on TV, but you can run mass amount of beer ads with half naked woman. Parents will complain about what they consume but then you see a young kid wearing a Negan jacket and bat from the walking dead. I don't mind the freedoms but I don't like the mix messages. I feel were grossly marked to feed consumption.” –Brent Leopold
Culture is becoming extinct with product branding and marketing . He wishes that the use of art were incorporated like Mt. Dew did in one of their campaigns where art was a main collaborative.
“Why not have a Big Mac box with limited edition art. Yes, it is throw away art but it's a way for artists to advertise their work in like magazines. Why can't Beats by Dr. Dre have packaging using art from all sorts of artists? Not all artists want to do this. Is it considered selling out? I guess it is just your point of view. For me being a consumer, I like to see better art than a red box or an overly seen brand from decades ago.” – Brent Leopold
Brent feels strongly that the world needs more art and suggests that businesses not take advantage of artist by trading exposure for free art and the rights to it. By using artwork from artists and making it a limited edition, companies can support the arts, artists can get their name out there and consumers can collect pieces along with the product. This only gives them more reason to invest again in the future.
“What would it hurt to have a limited artist phone and really give the artist credit in larger than life print? I would like for galleries and artist to get paid. It helps culture along with community as much as other types of events people push as important to quality of life. At the end of the day when I buy something, I want to see it wrapped more interesting. Aside from that I think art is a fight and culture isn't winning. So anything that a business and artist symbiotic relationship can help.” – Brent Leopold
Technology is winning on all fronts in society right now and at the same time the idea of street art is being incorporated to the beautification of our cities. There is much opportunity for technology to play a large part in the exposure of an artist. An artist who paints a mural has a name on it and it is a small part to be seen on a large artistic scale. Having the ability to broadcast it utilizing social media and apps helps promote on a larger scale. The fact that many consumers however follow art on their devises and spend sometimes $800 on them but will not spend $300 on a piece of art is something to think about. The dilemma of value and worth from the view of the buyer and the painter sometimes is a struggle and a fragile slope with no winners. Brent continues to see how his own art can grow on Earth and chooses to share it not only with technology but in paper form. This is the path he has chosen in the ideals of his alter artistic ego, Human Artist Vending machine.
The ideal experience in the making of the Human Artist Vending Machine is having art all over the world. It starts in the making from home and is transformed into an unconventional piece where framing is not ideal and the reward for sending it across the world is a photograph. The effort in the process is the end result if shared but does it make the artist stronger? It surely will decipher the part time artist from the passionate creator. Art is culture and as an artist, Brent Leopold will fight for it.
“I like to think of art as being a story from the past of the artist. I don't care for being at an art show and hear another artist tell a story explaining the art. Not all people who view art feel this way; I am sure. Personally I don't like it and want art to talk for itself. Most of the time I think art is a relationship within the frame or space and the meaning isn't as important from what I feel is the outcome. I want to say, ‘That is cool, great skills, or I felt disturbed by this image or I like the energy and color relationship.’ I don't have true stories in my own art and don't try to. I have fractions of stories but not a full tall tale. I think of emotions as pieces and fractions just like memory. Maybe it is me; maybe we’re all pieces and fragments? I’m not sure but with my art I am striving to get back to that splintering. I want my art to feel good and make the viewer uncomfortable depending what you see. I want to get back to what I call "Fragmented Skin" and I am starting to. I was on the task of drawing single humans and just keep on the flat level but I want to move in and out of the mind and what life really is and do that mash up in my art.” – Brent Leopold
While showcasing art as a resident artist at Metropolis Collective, Brent continues with his commitment in helping Human Artist Vending Machine go global connecting new people and places with art. He commits to drawing most days and painting in hopes of selling more art and gaining more collectors.
“I feel that what is meant to be will be as long as you put it out there. Not all artists will get the golden ticket but that shouldn't stop one from being creative.” “Personally art should be about passion. My goal is to keep learning, changing, staying fresh and staying creative. I stay creative and challenged.” – Brent Leopold
Brent took art classes at Montgomery Community College when he was younger. One of the painting assignments he had was handing out art that was in the Smithsonian. The American College art teacher gave photos of realistic images that would be painted in a painterly version of what he saw. Had this been the outcome in a normal class, he feels that it would have received an “F” but because it was done well painterly he received a “B”.
“In art I feel art should show your mistakes, it should show your feelings, and instincts. As we get deeper and deeper in app progress in my technology field, you don't want an iPhone camera and photo app to be like your finished art. I tend to enjoy just being more expressionistic but still very tight at the same time. I'm hoping artists see algorithms in Ai and formulated art is an issue that we need to think about and up our games. So my technique is thinking in those terms. I like the idea of when I loose control of my image and to bring it back from the dead. Watercolor is a fun medium in that form. I started watercolor and sent a lot of it as Mail Art. It was a great way to do studies, to share with other artists and learn from other artists. My personal feeling Markers can be hard but Watercolors is a trying medium. It is way to easy to loose what you have and to figure out how to bring it back. You can have a perfect image in your eyes and your waiting for it to try and then the colors starts to bleed away. But I find that challenging. Drawing; I tend to use a source image of something and then just go crazy in the background. I let my mind free and just draw what ever the lines tell me. Painting, I tend to do the art-walk away and go back to it. I try not to single shot a painting. If I had the chance to talk to my younger Self, I would say Start with Watercolors…” - Brent Leopold
Electronic music is one of the genres that are most loved by Leopold. He enjoys the works of Skinny Puppy, Depeche Mode, Mentello and the Fixer and Front 242. Those are just a few of many he feels a passionate about listening to and although he may not want to see them live at his age, he thoroughly loves having the music swam in his head. With the passion for many things like music, Brent also finds that collecting shark teeth that he finds is exciting and he has even found teeth smaller than a grain of rice.
“I am no expert on what teeth I find. I draw something in my moleskin travel book so I can match the teeth I found to what it is. Maybe one say I can just see it and say, “That is a sand shark”, but I find the sand digging is more fun. Most teeth I find are small as small. I might have 400 little teeth that fit in a mint metal box.” -Brent Leopold
The Human Artist Vending Machine is one of the most prolific ideas and artists around with his new ideas, imperfect perfections and stunning emotion brought out by many mediums. He is truthful in his adventures within thoughts and graceful in the reasoning of sharing more art through marketing . One could truly learn about what it takes to be an artist and why passion comes in to play with leaving impressions. Truly Brent Leopold will be known around the world.
Written By Skye Amber Sweet
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