From their original use as display components on which he mounted his other artistic creations to being actual artistic pieces themselves drawing even more attention than those they formally helped display, Briske's aluminum metal wire sculptures reflect the depth of Briske’s skill as an artist using almost any medium.
A South Carolina native who moved to Forest Park seven years ago, Briske fashions strips of aluminum metal wire into sculptures of men, women and children as well as inanimate objects.
Many of his metal pieces, as well as his and other artists’ original creations, are now displayed, and are for sale through Dec. 16, as part of the Arts Clayton Gallery’s annual Mistletoe Market.
“I am very grateful to Arts Clayton for allowing me to use their venue to show, and hopefully sell, some of my work,” Briske said.
According to Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin, Briske’s metal creations, including a huge, multi-colored medal Christmas wreath on display at the gallery, are among the most talked about artistic works available there.
“To me, it is almost like knitting,” Briske said.
“However, instead of using yarn, you are using aluminum metal strips which I can easily shape and mold using only a pair of pliers,” he added.
Briske can also wire his art, with or without a studio.
“I can remember that after our Thanksgiving dinner, my mother would be knitting at one end of our couch and I would be working on an artistic metal piece at the other end,” he said, adding that aluminum strips are not only easy to shape but maintain that shape well.
With continued use of the aluminum metal, Briske’s speed at turning out the sculptures has increased.
“With the smaller medal pieces, I can turn out about four or five a day, while some of the larger, more elaborate pieces, may take me a couple of weeks but I have a lot of fun working with the aluminum strips I find.”
Although metal art is not his only form of artistic creations, it is one that, as Briske said, “has really come to blossom in a relatively short amount of time.”
In addition to the Arts Clayton Gallery, Briske’s work has also graced galleries in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Dallas.
Asked what has been his favorite piece of artwork, either it be metal art or another medium, he said he hasn’t created it yet.
“My favorite is now, and will always be, the next project I work on,” he said.
In addition to his metal human figures and Christmas wreaths, Briske is working on another metal project, kites.