Bryan Pearce: The most amazing artist you’ve probably never heard of.

Flowers on the Windowsill

St. Ives from the Cemetery

St. Ives from Fernlea Terrace

One of my Art History professors in Switzerland, Dr. Brian Stanford, taught a class on how art and the brain work together. We studied people who end up with  unorthodox circumstances and how their art is different from classical ideas of “art” and accomplished art.

Bryan Pearce, a Cornwall native, was born with Phenylketonuria, which resulted in his brain not developing normally. As a result, his art has amazing perspectives, use of color, and the most naive, gorgeous landscapes I’ve ever seen. I haven’t been lucky enough to personally see his work (I didn’t make it to the Tate when I was in London) but emotionally it is somewhat unsettling in a wonderful way.

What’s amazing about Mr. Pearce is that he began exhibiting regularly and remained an artist his entire life. He was England’s most famous naive artist, and with his disease he lived to the age of 77– something almost unheard of! Luckily, because he started working and exhibiting in his 30’s, there are many prints and paintings of his that exist (prolific artists are the best- they have so much to show).


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