Brian Cardoza & Healing Through Art

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cocktailmolly
I like to start by asking you about the themes presented in your works. You stated to me that you like to center your work around sexual, mental and physical abuse. Would you mind sharing why these themes appeal to you in your art & what is the mission you are attempting to accomplish with your art by revealing such tragic themes to audiences?
Brian
I am a survivor of sexual, physical and mental abuse. I have used art as my medium of healing. To me it helps in the recovery process, I have noticed that mostly we as survivors have a strong link to each other. Whether that is in writing, art, or acting. After I went through the process of writing my book The Unexpected Victim, I noticed that I needed an outlet again so I started painting again.  

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Brian Cardoza’s book is available for sale on Amazon.com

It helped me. In each piece that I work on & complete, it is truly something that reflects what I always felt were my choices.  My mother, who was my physical & emotional abuser, told me that my approach and technique; those simple style with mild pallets, would never work on a painting.

cocktailmolly
A tragic situation indeed, but your ability to survive it all is what is truly phenomenal. So tell me when did u first learn that u were passionate about painting? Was it pre-therapy or post therapy?
Brian
Actually it was linked to my mother.  She was a very mean and angry person but she could really paint. I will never be able to confirm it, but it was said that she was abused by her booze addled mother. When she was in a more seemingly positive mood she would lower herself to talk to her “failure of a son” and teach him to draw or paint. I also am not saying it this way for dramatic effect those were her word, but now everyday I paint and sell one its a big thumbs up to her
cocktailmolly
Now let’s turn to the other artists that you admire and are influenced by, past & present?
Brian
Well I was really impressed by comics when I was a kid.  I would read them and hope a superhero would come and save me so artists Bendis, or Jason Lee.  The comics are the reason why I paint the way I do still. I liked, and on some level still do, the look a comic possesses and how much it communicates through a single frame. For me, as a kid it was something that brought me hope & through my paintings I hope each survivor sees and recognizes my attempts to communicate with them.
cocktailmolly
How does music or literature influence your philosophy about drawing & painting?
Brian
Well I have a heart for music and it helps me a lot. Music has the ability to make us recall and reflect or just be in the moment. Music does that for me. It can make me relive singular emotions so I can isolate them and get them out onto a canvas of drawing.
I am an avid reader but its fantasy only because of my past.   I read to escape.  Yes … reading … that was a major coping mechanism.  I will admit that most of the time I have had enough of this planet; to read a Terry Prachett novel places me in a land where magic works and we as a society can work together.
cocktailmolly
Do u do many art shows for your work? Where can people that are interested in your work view or purchase them even?
Brian
I actually run a group called Survivor Knights here on Facebook where I really try to help others get their art out. I have mine at a local gallery and here for contact. Plus they can look at other artists. I have gotten myself to a point were it helps my recovery to help others. I encourage others to show their art and host Survivor Knights art shows for free. Like we just had one two weeks ago at the University of Pennsylvania where we had spoken word and art.16522730_1385968504778861_1791031206_n
Survivor Knights is all inclusive if your a survivor of Domestic, drugs, racism, booze. or heart attacks we don’t care what it is;let’s build a community and work together, let’s make each better. Communities make strong survivors, but strong survivors make stronger communities.”
Also, I have a website that people can click, browse & support: www.briancardoza.com
cocktailmolly
How do people typically respond to your paintings, especially the ones that are what you define as “tragic”? Do you get positive or negative responses?
Brian
Well there is varied responses. Ninety-nine percent are positive but that is why when we do a day show I usely have someone who volunteers from the local rape crisis center to help people if they are triggered. Its a beautiful thing to see when someone makes a connection with a piece and they realize they haven’t suffered by themselves
The other one percent usually are less sensitive to the art & they just find a reason why they don’t like the art.
cocktailmolly
May I ask where you are from & where are you currently reside?
Brian
I was raised in Anchorage Alaska till I was 22 then moved to Spokane Washington. Moved East where I tell everyone I grew up in Boston I mean you don’t live a world of innocence for very long like a city in Boston, Ten years ago I moved to New Bern NC
cocktailmolly
Have you found that relocating across different regions of the USA has influenced your paintings in any way? 
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Brian
Not really only because art is so varied in what others like. I have been told many times if I was in Boston still I would be headlining shows but here if its not bowls of fruit or lighthouses its not art
cocktailmolly
What are your goals as an artist? What is next on the agenda for you artistically, professionally?
Brian
Well to be honest I want to sell my book as much as possible so I can continue to help others find their voices. If my art stayed where it is now I have done more than what my mother ever thought her failure of a son would accomplish.so I am good its woman like Se’rah that I want to help.
Lastly, I would like to tell a real quick story.  My second show for Survivor Knights we had two ladies who had never, and I mean never, shown their work previously, but at this show both of their paintings stole the show. So for them they had their first voice. That’s what I’m striving for.

All artwork is owned by Brian Cardoza & should not be used without his permission.