BRIAN HALLORAN grew up outside of Philadelphia and has always loved to make art, to travel and meet people from different cultures. At the age of 18, he joined a volunteer program to teach art and English at a teacher training college in Mozambique. “It was a powerful and beautiful year. I was able to travel the country and paint murals with students about community life,” Brian shared. “It made me realize how art can diminish social boundaries, even ones that have deep historical roots.”
Subsequently, Brian received a BFA from Boston University and lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a year and a half with his wife, who is from Brazil. He did a series of street portraits of a local homeless group of friends who called themselves "familia maluquinha" or the “crazy family.” He spent another year in Austin, Texas, painting a series of works about everyday life and consumerism.
Brian and his wife have lived in Prospect Lefferts Gardens for a year and a half. “As a multinational couple, the neighborhood is a breath of fresh air with its amazing mix of cultures and nationalities living side by side,” he said. “I began to paint a series about interactions between my neighbors. Since the paintings are from memory, they reveal what I really see and what I do not. Through the progression of the series it became evident that there were a lot of my neighbors who I only looked at from a distance. Whether out of politeness or awkwardness, I barely made eye contact with many people on my block especially those of different races and cultural groups than my own. The paintings capture this perspective across cultural boundaries and asks how much we can really see without an intimate connection.”
Brian, PLG Arts and the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association are securing a space to show their works so that the neighborhood can experience all the creative juices of PLG. There will be two shows in October and November: Brian’s show will be called “Between Neighbors,” about social boundaries from an individual perspective, and the Neighborhood show will follow it as a celebration of the diverse art, dance, poetry, music and crafts of PLG. “It is going to be wonderful,” Brian concluded, “so please come and take part!”