Brian Alfred was born in Pittsburgh in 1974. Alfred started his career as a painter, going on to exhibit animations based on his paintings. His works, in large, focus on how our surroundings and culture are mediated by technology. Alfred typically works from found images of urban landscapes. After 9/11, and the advancement of surveillance and conspiracy theories, he began to almost exclusively focus on images of architecture, machinery, and urban landscapes. The world he creates lack human life, therefore giving his work a distant, remote feel. Adding to the distant feel, Alfred uses the aid of a computer to reduce and abstract his images before rendering the resulted color fields in animation or acrylic. His work resonates with American artists such as Hopper and Sheeler and also has an affinity with Ukiyo-e and popular culture.
Alfred is the recipient of the Pennsylvania State University College of Art & Architecture Faculty Research Grant, the Pennsylvania State University Institute for the Arts and Humanities Grant, the Jerome Foundation Film Video and Digital Production Grant, the Carriage House Arts Residency in Islip, NY, the Excellence Award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Japan Media Arts Festival, Pennsylvania State University Alumni Achievement Award, Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, Pennsylvania State University Alumni Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Inspiration Award, Phelps Berdan Memorial Award, Skowhegan Match Scholarship, and the Edwin Zoller Scholarship.
Alfred is included in the collections at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; and Orange County Museum of Art, California, among others.