Gallery500 is committed to supporting local and emerging artists. The gallery’s Emerging Artist Series does just that, highlighting a hand-selected group of newcomers to the central Florida art scene. I was fortunate enough to sit down with photographer Brandon Stanley, the first artist in the series. We spoke about photography, his love for NASCAR and his obsession with the ocean.
Born and raised in Titusville, Florida, Brandon moved to Daytona Beach to be closer to his girlfriend, Leslie, although Daytona has had a place in his heart since childhood. He distinctly remembers his first NASCAR race at the Daytona International Speedway when he was just 5 years old. He and his sister chose their predicted winners, Brandon siding with Jeff Gordon, because he “thought his car looked really cool.” He has been a Gordon fan ever since. Brandon’s appreciate for racing and Daytona Beach has continued, leading to a unique appreciation for the area, which is evident in his work.
Just as many photographers start their career capturing life with a cell phone camera, Brandon too began photographing with his phone. Soon, he advanced to a Sony A6300 camera and now he uses an underwater housing to capture his unique images. A self-titled “fish,” Brandon remembers learning to swim at a young age. He began surfing at 10 years old and is now a lifeguard with Volusia County Ocean Rescue. It was a natural progression that merged his love for the ocean with his love for photography. Most of his images center around or in the water. Because of his knowledge of the ocean and wave characteristics, Brandon is able to capture this rare viewpoint only visible from the water. That perfect “barrel” of a wave or moment the wave breaks with water below is typically only experienced by other surfers or swimmers. With his photography, Brandon brings that exclusive point of view to collectors.
In most cases, Brandon wants to stay true to what he sees, minimally editing his images. Unless his desire is to create an “artistic” image, as seen in in W A T E R C O L O R S (above), Brandon limits the editing of his photos. With a few tweaks of color, Brandon will add “flare.” His goal is to represent the beauty he saw in the moment that may have not fully translated to the photo. We all have had that moment when the photograph cannot truly capture that breathtaking sunset or beautiful rainbow we saw in person. His ability to print on differing substrates, from aluminum to photo paper to canvas, allows his images to further come to life.
Titles…..you may notice a few unique characteristics of Brandon’s titles. His so called “cheeky & clever” titles give his pieces another life. Moreover, his preference for aesthetics leads to the unique spacing of the titles. B E G I N N I N G S (below), for example, was the first photograph he published after receiving the waterproof housing for his camera. This was the beginning of his journey we are now sharing with the artist. Almost all of his works have a personal story. Owning one of Brandon’s photos allows his collectors to take part in his story and experience the water from his view.
After spending the afternoon with Brandon- well a couple of afternoons due to my gift of gab- I have gained a deeper appreciation for his work. Brandon is a true artist. He sees beauty in the world around him and the things he loves, namely the ocean. His hope is to bring this beauty, that moment that took his breath away, to his viewers. I asked Brandon what his goal is with showcasing his work. He explained
“for people to be able to enjoy and experience the images. For people to see what I see. There’s nothing else…where you can literally capture a moment in time and share that with someone else.”
Gallery500 is honored to share Brandon’s work with you and hope you can experience his love for the ocean as we have while showcasing his work.
Together with Brandon Stanley, Gallery500 will donate a portion of Brandon Stanley’s sales to World Vision Clean Water Fund, to help impact lives, cities, and future generations. World Vision Clean Water delivers sanitized water to local and international communities in need. Clean water is a “huge need that people have…it’s shocking how many people still die from not having clean water.” The fund is close to Brandon’s heart, having sponsored a child through the organization previously. Click here to learn more about the World Vision Clean Water Fund and how to donate.
Brandon’s photography will be on display at Gallery500 through Labor Day. We will also host a Pop Up Exhibition, featuring Brandon’s work, on Thursday September 2nd from 6 - 8 pm at Oil & Vinegar in Daytona Beach. Stop in, grab a drink, meet Brandon and enjoy live music while you enjoy a selection of Brandon’s work. Click here to RSVP.
If you enjoyed our chat, check out our video on YouTube to see more of the interview.
Until next time,