athome With Artist Brian Kaspr

above: A Rowayton home got a colorful send-off.

Chances are, you’ve seen Brian Kaspr’s work. The Norwalk-based artist and co-founder of wallpaper and design studio Flat Vernacular sees opportunities for murals everywhere, utilizing his painting and lettering skills to transform buildings scheduled for demolition with uplifting messaging and bold colors. Here, a peek into his vibrant world, complete with cat butts and plans for a studio bar.

right: Kaspr’s closet is stocked with Pentimento shirts.

The one thing that always makes me feel at home is…
My family, being close to my studio, and waking up in my own bed.

My guilty pleasure…
There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If something brings one pleasure, there is no reason for guilt.

My favorite place in the world is…
This is often changing, but my studio is frequently holding this title.

My favorite thing about living here…
I love that it is adaptable to my needs and mood. We are in such close proximity to a variety of different environments. If I want nature and calmness or if I want the city and chaos, it’s all within arm’s reach.

My latest local obsession…
Trying to carry art through the wheels of city government as the chair of the newly formed Norwalk Arts and Cultural Commission. Or for something more concrete, Art 06870 in Old Greenwich, and I can’t wait for the new home of Ursa Gallery to open in Bridgeport.

My five favorite pieces in my home are…
1. The pile of notes and cards from my wife, Payton
2. The first truly representative drawing my son did of a cat
3. The Björk animation celI found in the trash
4. A painting of a cat butt by my friend Kevin Ford
5. A painting of a Metro North switchhouse by my friend Valeri Larko
6. My vast collection of Pentimento shirts (Sorry, that was six)

My favorite weekend activity…
A day spent with family and friends, followed by working in the studio at night.

My current project is…
I’ve long wanted to open a bar in my studio. I’m going to serve cocktails, French fries and art.

Color is important to me because…
It is truly magical. I can heighten, alter moods, quiet, energize, change space perception, set the scene, frustrate, scale up, shrink down and express anything and everything.

The best advice I’ve ever received…
I’ll forever appreciate the advice of my high school art teacher: “When you’re stuck, clean the studio.” More recently, Kevin Ford (the aforementioned painter of cat butts) told me, “Make art like you don’t need to sell it.”

left: An acrylic on wood piece titled “Witch House” right: The sacred studio space is currently Kaspr’s favorite place.

Photographs: portrait by Venera Alexandrova; house by Andrea Carson; courtesy of Brian Kaspr

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