In the Studio: Brenda Bogart

For this edition of In the Studio, we’re featuring one of our newest (and new favorite!) MiXX artists, collage extraordinaire Brenda Bogart. Drawing from her ever-growing collection of found materials, she gives new life to discarded or forgotten paper with her painterly mixed media portraits of human and animal subjects.

Join us for a peak behind the scenes into the controlled chaos of Brenda’s vibrant studio in Dallas, Texas. 

A habit common among collage artists, Brenda is an avid collector, constantly on the lookout for new materials to add to her decoupage arsenal. Antique documents, maps, and handwritten letters are particular favorites, but for Brenda, anything is fair game.

Everything from magazine clippings to sidewalk trash finds its way into Brenda’s collection. On occasion, her eye for materials even gets her into trouble. Once, on attempting to remove a flake of peeling paint from a DC trash can, she drew a flurry of armed Supreme Court security guards – apparently the dried paint was still (technically) government property.

In addition to an Interior Design degree from TCU, Brenda’s formal artistic training is in painting. Brenda herself defines her signature style of collage as ‘painting with paper,’ and her background is clearly evidenced in her final products. Her torn and cut bits of paper are pieced together in a manner that brings to mind the gestural strokes of a painter’s hand.

While immediately striking from first glance, Brenda’s collages merit a closer look. Her particular genius lies in her ability to master and meld the macro and micro levels of her art form. Her finished works are not only stunning as a whole, but contain intricate layers of detail that transcend the simplicity of her subject matter and tell a larger story of history and materiality. Longer sittings with her mixed media pieces reveal captivating secrets like snippets of hand-writing from a centuries-old stranger, or the surprise of a familiar feature on an old map. Charming and colorful on the surface, Brenda’s portraits are also an invitation to dig a little deeper and see that opportunities for beauty are everywhere – even in the dusty corners reserved for the discarded and forgotten.

Brenda and her studio assistant, Ranger the Beagle.

Click the links below to shop Brenda Bogart originals on Artsy, or browse our wide selection of prints on our online store.

Photo credits: Rebecca Roberts, Nathan Schroeder, Elizabeth Mary Lavin; additional photos are artist’s own.