The photo collages of S. Brett Kaufman lead off the Doiron Gallery's late summer schedule of
outstanding exhibits. Brett's computer-altered photographs explore social
themes that reflect the experiences of many groups: blacks, gays, white liberals,
Latinos, artist, women, entertainers and others. Yet in Brett's case, it is
not so much the themes that get your attention as much as it is the boggling
range of techniques he employs. Taken as a whole, the exhibited pieces
represents a virtuoso effort that reflects a universal consciousness.
S. Brett Kaufman lives and works in San Francisco. Born in 1967, he grew up and lived in various areas of Los Angeles. He attended California State University at Northridge where he studied business and journalism; yet his true fascination was with photography.
In 1987, Brett’s older brother Perry died from AIDS; Perry was 29 years old. Realizing how vulnerable life was, Brett decided to drop his business major (which he always feared to do), move to San Francisco (which he always dreamed to do), and pursue photography passionately (which he always wanted to do).
Brett transferred to San Francisco State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art; however, it was by participating in the work force within the photo-lab industry that he learned how to transfer his visions onto a two-dimensional surface.
In San Francisco, Brett discovered that he was not isolated nor alone in being gay; a supportive and involved community existed. This community had had a leader: Harvey Milk, a city supervisor who was assassinated. When Brett learned who Harvey Milk was, he began to understand the meaning of pride—and with this understanding, his curiosity and interest in society and politics grew. Brett incorporated this newfound knowledge into his art.
Brett’s focus is three-fold: His work swings from intensely personal subjects to content that involves social commentary, while many other pieces are based on the lives he has explored through the reading of numerous biographies and autobiographies.
Since 1990, Brett has participated in approximately 50 shows, including presentations at San Francisco City Hall , San Francisco Camerawork, The Sacramento Museum of Art, and Monique Goldstrom Gallery in New York. Brett has sold over 100 works and has been reviewed in Artweek Magazine, San Francisco Examiner, and the Bay Area Reporter among others. In 1991, he won the Strauss Scholarship Photography Award offered at San Francisco State University.
In 1996, "Ode to Harvey Milk" became the poster and playbill for the San Francisco Opera’s production of "Harvey Milk." That same year, "Norma Jeane Preserved" won Best of Show at Photo Metro Magazine’s annual competition. Currently, "Untitled Is the Heart" is being produced as a congratulatory card by Palm Press Greeting Cards.