Cedric Tai

I created Brixels as a way to collaborate with others in creating complex murals on brick walls. The website makebrixels.com helps to design and make available patterns that tessellate nicely onto brickwork.


Brixel

Brixel
Matthew Piper wrote a wonderful piece about the project, and he can give a good description of what it felt like to be a part of its creation. This particular mural was made with Ian Swanson on a quick whim on a building owned by Dan Tartanian. This was perhaps the 4th Brixel work to go up and to my knowledge it is still in the best condition of the original walls that I worked on.

Brixel
Kresge Arts in Detroit decided to create a Detroit Biennale called 'Art X Detroit' around many venues in Midtown. They commissioned many of the inaugural Kresge Fellows to make new works and this is the only indoor Brixel that has ever taken place, but it also shows the disruption of scale the best. This was inside the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and there's also one of my paintings on top of it as well.
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The artist Dan Marchwinski was instrumental in the development of this project. He coded the website within two weeks and found simple solutions to create tesselations with the layout of bricks that is both straightforward but also publicly accessible to all. Originally the brixels were not necessarily tesselations, but his free program has become an exciting way for me to develop unexpected compositions. This was the 2nd mural and it was created with Halima Cassells and a crew of younger people. This is just around the corner from the piece on Hendrie. The last image is something that was very much originally part of what I was hoping for, the eventual growth of vines and bushes that would counter and defy the rigid geometry of the painting.
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It was important to me that the project somehow involve everyone. There was usually food (and sometimes music), friends like Chazz Miller donated things like scaffolding for the day. Friends and also my dad came by to help out to get the first one started. My friend Loni Weems of Native Kitchen offered to feed people in a couple of the locations. I could have gone to places like Sherwin Williams again who have donated paint before but much of the expenses for paint were paid for by the Midtown Corporation. This venue, although it has an interesting kind of visibility, was barely within Midtown's range.
This is the prezi presentation that went viral while the project was underway.
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Having some left over paint meant that we could do a couple buildings outside of Midtown as well. The top images are in Woodbridge and the bottom image is in Eastern Market as Mike Han's contribution before it began to chip off as it was applied onto a anti-grafitti treated building. All is ephemeral anyways.
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It was also important to me to make the project accessible in other ways too. Halima Cassells helped me bring a non-computerized version of Brixels into some schools while I also created a residency where I could explain the project to people in person, and I also took part in a very enjoyable panel discussion at Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg studio.
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Anyone can do these brixels with or without my blessing. I do enjoy helping others to set a program up to make them happen, and I am open to the process of describing all the intriciacies involved, so if you are interested feel free to reach out to me. The top two images were both created by Arts Corp Detroit, but specifically it was great work by Ayaka Hibino and Joe Lalonde along with Mame Jackson. You can really see how they made the patterns more interesting by changing the shape of where the bricks get filled in. The last image is the latest one I did in Glasgow for the Bike Station.