Chasing the Devil’s Music: Portraits by Brett Stuart Wilson

International Musicality: Portraits by Brett Stuart Wilson

“My first recollection for the love of music was as a 12 year old boy, listening to the blues legends on Radio Free Luxembourg while living in Vicenza Italy”


Brett Stuart Wilson is an artist with a simple mission – to “bridge the gap between my passion for art and my respect for the mavericks of music.”  This means creating a series of large mixed-media portraits of some of the biggest personalities in music, names like Ray Charles, Ozzy Osbourne and Sid Vicious   Brett points to his youth in European cities as an important part of his artistic background.  “I credit my mother who was an artist for the luxury of being exposed at an early age to the timeless art and architecture of Europe.”  Combining this art background with his love of music seemed a natural fit for the subject of his paintings. A series of these works will be on display at the WTMD gallery in Towson, where an opening reception is being held this Wednesday night.

What Weekly was able to have a conversation with Brett’s wife and very capable agent, Jamie.  They live and work out of a studio/home in rural Maryland where Brett now has much more space for his antique Indian motorcycles and art studio.  Jamie told us that living in the city for many years had its upsides but the value of open space and a large studio has been great for Brett’s art.  They do miss being able to spend time with other artists and attend frequent gallery events but studio and garage space in the city is becoming increasingly rare.Producing large scale pieces can be a challenge; they are more expensive and difficult to create and thus more expensive and difficult to display and sell.  Through word-of-mouth and reaching out Brett and Jamie have been able to have the larger pieces displayed in restaurants and lofty condos, which have the space for these dimensional dynamic pieces.There is a sense of immediacy in the work conveyed by the layered acrylic paints and surreal backgrounds. Jamie explained that Brett “works from the front so the sides are a little more incidental and abstract.” The key thing is the portrait and by working loosely he is able to communicate the energy and “ups-and-downs” of the musician’s lifestyle.  Many of the subjects are legends of the music industry but Brett is interested in using more contemporary musicians for upcoming paintings, mentioning some notable rappers which we will be very excited to see.

Brett Stuart Wilson lives and works in Abingdon, MD
He can be reached by phone 410-676-1224
Ezra Lefko

Ezra is a handsome writer, artist and performer. He is a member of What Works Studio, which produces What Weekly. When not working, Ezra is the third member of the Pet Shop Boys.

Theresa Keil

Theresa is a freelance photographer based in Baltimore