Brian Morgan

Brian Morgan lives in Chicago’s west-side neighborhood of Humboldt Park, where he creates rough and humorous images of life and politics in America.  His work discusses the economic divide between the rich and the poor, heavily draped in humorous satire. Morgan ventures beyond politics by delving into the maniacally diverse society of cyclists in the city of Chicago.  Blending india ink, thin monochromatic oils, and dramatic splashes of vinyl paint on wood panels, his signature style creates a motley cast of characters. From bike messengers, street vendors and fast flying track racers, to fat cat politicians, these paintings present the energy and love of a big city and a simple machine. 


For me, the excitement of being an artist is interpreting the many characters of our everyday lives into a tangible scene of the human soul, alive and wild. I create figurative art so that I can share the energy of the human spirit as a raw and powerful force of imagination and perseverance. I am inspired by dignity, determination, and the underdog. I’m painting for those who are strong in mind and heart. Hoping to inspire empathy for those who struggle, and awe for those who overcome.

Integrity is very important to me. The characters I create are a composite of emotions and impressions that I get from a particular person I pass, or see riding through the streets of the city. I will sketch them in my pocket book catching their spirit and gesture as quickly as I can before the fleeting moment is gone. As a passionate environmentalist and fixer of things, I am naturally in love with bicycles and the people who ride them. 

The materials I use are simple and basic: wood panels, raw ink, vinyl house paint, and oil.  These lend themselves to the esthetic of wild simplicity and allow for great gesture and depth. Virtues I seek in each person I represent in a work of art.

I spent many years learning to paint in the more traditional style of oil on canvas, but it is drawing, and the expressive energy of ink splashed, and paint dripped, that I love. My style is rooted in realism and figurative drawing, with abstract lines that become atmospheric, and figures who are alive and present.  In creating this semi-fictional menagerie of those who impress me the most, I’m trying to capture the stir-crazy joy of city life.


Self taught

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