The Wisdom of Insurity (Apologies to Alan Watts) belongs to a group of pictures that introduce ways in which letter shapes can co-mingle with primary shapes in a game of alternating and radially shifting colors. The loose checkerboard is interrupted by the concentric circles, and both are subdivided by the text outlines. The whole thereby creates myriad unpredictable little shapes, none of which would be arrived at by any of the individual forms on their own. Purple Rain also features overlapping shapes, but here there is more use of illusionistic transparency, a focus on circular forms, and letters coexisting with shapes without as much interruption.
Erik den Breejen was born in Berkeley, California. He is a graduate of Cornell University, where he received his MFA in 2006, and the California College of the Arts, where he received his BFA in 1999. Recent exhibitions include Sound & Color at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, Weekend at Mindy Solomon, Miami, and Song of the Earth at Freight + Volume, NY. Den Breejen’s large-scale public works include murals commissioned by Atlantic Records, Public Art for Public Schools, Rag and Bone, and others. Erik is a 2018 MacDowell Fellow, a 2015 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Painting, and a three-time recipient of the DNA Artists Residency in Provincetown, MA. His work is collected internationally and has been featured in The New York Times, Artnews, Hyperallergic, Artnet, Bloomberg, Art Maze, Maake, Whitehot, and more. Den Breejen lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.