“Fight or Flight” is a classic response to fear and anxiety that inspired actor, marketing expert, and entrepreneur Brandon Fassberg to take up painting. During the coronavirus crisis, Brandon experimented with painting on canvas and used a wide range of color to express tranquility and peace.
Having been on lockdown during the pandemic, Brandon wanted to create something and thus started dabbling with painting. The results were boldly colorful and powerful paintings with deep messages of hope and resilience behind the colors. The paintings are meant to inspire people to find joy and hope and push past grief and anxiety.
“When you’re feeling down, depressed, unmotivated, or just plain sad, one of these large, visually-appealing ‘flight’ of collectively-imperfect hues always ready, willing and able to ease your mind and calm your soul,” Brandon explained via his official press release.
At their core, these paintings are celebrating the organization of imperfection. Sixty colors grace the canvas, layered on with rough brush strokes that symbolize the turbulence that stress causes to one’s mind.
There are currently three identical pieces (all 30” x 40” inches) in the “Fight or Flight” series. Each piece cost $500 and are made-to-order (it takes Brandon approximately two weeks to complete each painting). The proceeds will go to charities that help people suffering from stress and anxiety.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did the pandemic inspire your interest in painting and had you ever dabbled in this artistic medium before?
Brandon Fassberg (BF): Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been exploring many new and creative outlets that allow me to grow in every way possible. Painting for me is incredibly nostalgic and is a wonderful form of personal expression. Though I’m relatively new to the art world, I feel as if I’ve been “creating” all of my life.
MM: What was it about the concept of “fight or flight” that inspired you artistically?
BF: I myself have experienced this uncomfortable sensation multiple times throughout my life. And I sought to understand it further. After about 10+ years of wrestling with anxiety, I wanted to create something that accurately illustrated how it feels to have an anxiety (or panic) attack.
MM: How did you come up with the idea for the pattern, color scheme, and size of these works?
BF: I wanted color. Lots of color. This would enable the viewer to stay distracted by the ever-changing hues and keep their attention while under stress. The finished work showcases these sixty acrylic pigments in evolving order. A very intentional method to “fly with” the viewer. As for the size, I wanted it to be a statement. Something prominent that the owner could hang proudly in a main room and emphasize their strength. Especially for when their friends and family visit. This acts as a piece that further opens up the conversation around anxiety and depression.
MM: Which is your favorite color out of all sixty of the featured hues?
BF: Though each of ARTEZA’s sixty pigments are absolutely stunning, I find myself drawn to Orange Red. It’s so powerful, bright and optimistic in its appearance.
MM: You have struggled with anxiety in the past, so how did art help you cope during your own battles?
BF: This painting was primarily for myself. A selfish project of expression to help me visualize how I was feeling. The turbulent ridges featured on each of the sixty pigments are purposely imperfect and raw. This showcases the rough and bumpy road towards calmness and relaxation. The physical action of paining soothes my mind and keeps me focused unlike anything else besides maybe cooking. It’s incredibly soothing to create each brush stroke!
MM: You are also an actor, so does that medium also serve as a channel against anxiety?
BF: Oh, absolutely it does! Acting for me is an excuse to vent. And audience members occasionally pay to see that. They’re like public therapy sessions and I cannot wait to get back on stage.
MM: What do you wish more people knew about anxiety and the healing properties of art?
BF: That you don’t fully understand it until you experience it yourself. And that the most important thing (at least for me) to help relieve these sensations is to be around people who “get it”. Knowing that your loved ones understand how you’re feeling actually help the symptoms alleviate. Art is interpretive. We all see and feel something unique. Some art makes you happy, sad or simply makes you think. The “Fight or Flight” series is the beginning of an artistic mission that I’d like to spearhead across the world and make sure that it has a consistent goal: Relaxation.
MM: You want to give some of the proceeds of sales to charitable organizations. Do you know which ones?
BF: Yes, that’s correct! In fact, I plan on donating 100% of the proceeds to organizations like the ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America). My goal is not to make money from this initiative. It is to spread awareness and gift my form of artistic positivity to those who could benefit from it most.
MM: How do you envision this series expanding and evolving?
BF: I would hope that this series would kickoff a larger anti-anxiety initiative and feature other styles of works, sculpture and even theater. I wanted to start this mission with something that we could hold and admire. And share.
MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
BF: Just to find happiness! Silly, I know but it couldn’t be more true. We’re living in a very strange and uncertain time but there is still so much good in the world. I’m trying to take care of myself and stay supportive of my family and friends. Lastly, I would hope that this artwork and its accompanying story inspire others to just create. Amazing things could happen!
To learn more, visit Brandon Fassberg’s official website.