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Fear Not These Murals: Brian Rea’s Art Is What Keeps Him Up at Night

The illustrator faced his fears by painting them onto two long walls at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona.

Fear Not These Murals: Brian Rea’s Art Is What Keeps Him Up at Night
brian rea

What’s your worst fear? Ignorance? Credit cards? Smallpox? Illustrator Brian Rea has collected so many fears over the years that they fill up a 7-meter-by-3.5-meter wall. An exhibition entitled Murals that opened at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona last week gave Rea a chance to not only face, but also trace, his worst fears.

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brian rea

Rea keeps many lists. During his last year in New York (2008) he began taking inventory of the things he and other people around him were worried about. “After being there for 11 years, I discovered like most people I had a lot of fears–after a few months, I began to catalog them: physical fears, natural fears, political fears, random, emotional.”

brian rea

Rea categorized the fears into themes like physical, political, and of course, supernatural.

brian rea

On the opposite wall, Rea took one of his fears–UFOs–and expanded upon the topic visually. “I spent a few months researching UFO sightings and reports from the last 50 years,” he says.

brian rea

“This is an archive of some of the more interesting and unusual ones,” says Rea. “Where the intersection of fear, storytelling and drawing overlaps with people’s
imagination.”

brian rea

Rea used chalk and white paint to create the two murals, which took about 13 days to complete. The show will be up until June 6 and the two murals are located, appropriately, along a long, dark, scary hallway.

[Joan Miró Foundation]

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.

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