This article was originally published on Melhop Gallery º7077’s website and is republished here with permission.
alen Brown was the most humble, the most sincere, and the most generous artist I have ever met. I am so happy to have met him early on when I arrived in Nevada, 2008-2009. From the moment we met we have had a deep and trusting friendship. Galen’s compulsion to create, make, think, and endlessly work was more than remarkable. He was deeply invested in the arts and always showed up at all the regional arts events supporting other artists and their paths. While I was Director of the St Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City he made it his mission to help restore the historic building spending many many hours on his hands and knees hand sanding the original wooden floors from 1864 and bringing them back to life in the most beautiful and meticulous manner. He donated his time and skills to many projects and to many artists within whose careers and journeys he was an integral lifeline, support and force.
With a very understated sense of humour Galen would often drop an odd sentence and then wait with a quizzical look on his face for the reaction. … I know that it tickled him when people realized he was joking. A deeply sensitive man with a passion for drawing and making by hand, he would never ask for help but gave without hesitation to many.
Until 2019 he refused to sell any of his art, preferring to keep the bodies of work intact and to continue working on each series over periods as long as 35 years. The day he agreed to join the Melhop Gallery roster was an enormous breakthrough. Although it was a difficult decision for such a private person, he revelled in the fact that people actually resonated with his work and wanted to live with it. He knew what he was doing was important but hadn’t had the feedback he needed to feel like it was safe to put it out into the world on its or his own terms.
He had 2 solo shows at Melhop Gallery º7077, OCD OCD OCD in 2021, and OCD,2, in 2022, his latest work is currently in the exhibition titled “Between Earth & Sky: Exploring the Great Basin through the Eyes of Northern Nevada Artists” taking place at Nevada Humanities Gallery in Las Vegas, curated by Rossitza Todorova,
Galen worked obsessively, continuously with honesty and love, he adored the process, creating mesmerizing artwork that could be viewed as meditations for dreaming on—but that is not how he would have described it. Although a professed non-writer, over the last years he has used his Facebook page as his repository for archiving his work and some of the history behind it. I love the way he went backwards and forwards in time looking at his life, his work, and the process of making art.
Galen grew up at Lake Tahoe. Water and the high altitude desert were in his blood and they appeared in abstract ways throughout his artwork. The day I mentioned that his Shadowcasters seemed like they must have been a direct influence from the pier he played on as a child, referencing the shadows that it cast, the look of revelation on his face was profound.
I am so proud to have been able to represent him, help in any way I could to give him a tiny part of the accolades and attention he so deserved. Nothing could ever be enough to repay him for his earnest friendship, astonishing loyalty, support and help with any thing I ever endeavored to do, and the amazing deep and wonderful discussions we had about art.
One of my dearest friends in the entire world, I am reeling at this sudden loss.