La Belle Helene
Arts & CultureArts Features

Brian Twitty Puts Things in Perspective with ‘Visualist’

Brian Twitty began his career in business, diving head-first into the finance world of Charlotte. It wasn’t until six years ago that he realized his heart wasn’t in finance, and that he wanted to take a look at Charlotte through a different lens. He decided that photography was a passion he might be able to build a living from.

“I’ve never felt the joys [from finance] that I get from visual work,” Twitty says.

Brian Twitty in action. (Photo by Cody Bennett)

His studies weren’t a waste, however. Having a background in business gave Twitty the knowledge to push his artistic passion into a profitable position, giving him the confidence to pursue networking in a way he would need to be successful in the creative scene.

Instead of blindly making his way through the business, Brian began building personal relationships … ones that he knew would last over time.

“You have a personal relationship with that person even if it is just for business,” he says. 

It’s worked well for him, as Twitty has built a following over the last six years, winning many accolades for his work, including Reader’s Pick for Best Photographer in our 2019 Best in the Nest awards

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INSPIRATION

Twitty worked his way into the field through commercial photography. Through those gigs, he soon realized that his true inspiration lay within the different dynamics that he provides in his work, which since his days in the commercial world has become more artistic.

He often uses different lenses to portray a certain atmosphere or low-light long-exposure techniques to capture movement — be it a crowd gathered around a breakdancer at Knocturnal or a skateboarder hitting the lip on a quarter pipe at Oso Skatepark. 

(Photo by Brian Twitty)

He explains: “Art is perspective. No one can tell you what art is; nobody can specifically give you your perspective”.

From 5-10 p.m. tonight at The Artisan’s Palate, Twitty will host an opening reception for his new exhibit, Visualist: Brian Twitty, in which he’ll incorporate mixed media and fine art prints with his photography that will give a new dynamic to his work. 

VISUALIST

In a so-called arts district, where galleries have shuttered in recent decades and a bevy of restaurants have popped up, The Artisan’s Palate created a hybrid — a full-service restaurant with a dedicated gallery for local art exhibits. 

After doing some promotional work at the location, which opened in August 2019, he was invited to host an exhibit there. Without hesitation, he accepted the offer. When asked to describe the exhibit in one word, he uses “diverse.”

“I don’t adhere to anyone’s standards,” he continues. “I spread diversity by doing so.”

Brian looks forward to meeting new fans of his work, while turning tonight’s reception into a full-fledged party. He invited his long-time friend That Guy Smitty to DJ.

“I always try to bring joy to people’s lives,” says Twitty, emphasizing that the reception will be no different. The exhibit will run through Feb. 25, when Twitty will host a soft closing at the Palate. 

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A portion of the exhibit’s proceeds will go to Safe Alliance, an organization that helps survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Safe Alliance hosts an Art with Heart event that Brian attend every year. The 20th annual Art with Heart is scheduled for Feb. 29th this year

When asked what it means to him that he was able to pursue his dream and support himself through his passion, Twitty returns to his penchant for building relationships and using those to build a career.

“Dreams are about people,” he says, “and your attitude with those people.”

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