Reidsville, North Carolina-based artist Brad Spencer works with bricks to produce eye-catching, figurative sculptures. Each piece of work in the sculptor’s growing collection is an intriguing look at a common medium used in an unconventional way. The fact that bricks are typically an architectural material whose visual shapes rarely extend beyond anything more than a boxy wall makes them all the more attention-grabbing.
Many of the sculptor’s works play with the material’s architectural use, referencing its conventional purpose by inserting a wall or some sort of rectangular public divider. From these basic structures emerge Spencer’s three-dimensional figures. The artist uses a relief technique, working with unfired clay first to carve his figures in a brickwork pattern. He then proceeds to fire the pieces individually and assemble the bricks on the site of its display.
Spencer says of his material of choice: “Brick sculpture can be dated back to ancient Babylon but remains a fresh and interesting enhancement to any building, wall or environment. The brick medium has all the same characteristics of durability and low maintenance as a brick building, blends well in settings where other brick construction is present, looks good with landscaping and has a familiarity which is comforting to people.”