Under the name Elbow Toe, Brooklyn based artist Brian Adam Douglas has been pasting his distinctive woodcuts, stencil work, large-scale charcoal drawings and collages onto the walls of cities all around the world throughout the past decade. His diverse practice is anchored by an interest in the human gesture as a powerful form of communication, one charged with unspoken narratives and he transforms public space into a stage for these private moments.


Douglas’ work has always drawn from personal myth, symbolism and poetry; his cut paper works tow that same line. Just as he builds a finished image through the meticulous layering of tiny individual bits of colored paper, so the meaning of the image is woven through layers of references to historically and culturally established narratives. This kind of intertextuality has become the foundation for the development of his distinctive style. The result is a sophisticated visual language where personal metaphors begin to communicate universal truths. Given these intricate and delicately arranged collages have a fluidity rarely seenin collage work, they may at first glance be mistaken for paintings. Whilst the artist draws on a rich tradition of figurative painting and has qualities reminiscent of Freud and Bacon, his affluent style and medium are very much his own. Douglas consistently pushes the boundaries of contemporary image-making.


Douglas' solo show Due Date exhibited first at the Warrington Museum in the UK and then moved to Black Rat Projects in London. In 2011 Drago published the catalogue Paper Cuts about Douglas' work and practice. In September 2013 Douglas presented his critically acclaimed show, How To Disappear Completely at Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York City. In 2014 R. Jampol Project(s) published the catalogue Liner Notes which is included in the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Brian is represented by Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York City.

Brian Douglas, who first came to broad public attention for his work on the streets of New York City under the name Elbow Toe, has perhaps done more than any other contemporary artist to make collage relevant to the fine art discourse of the 21st Century. The importance of his work in this regard is both a matter of its highly fraught psychological content and the supreme effect of his craft.
— Carlo McCormick
There are plenty of practitioners who’ve carved a
well-deserved niche out with the medium — like Javier Pinon, whose iconic cowboys-and-furniture works give the cut-and-paste aesthetic new life.) ...Brian Douglas, a.k.a. Elbow-Toe, gives us 2010’s “Bears” — a cut paper on birch panel work that pictures a man helping a woman out of her bear costume. The craftsmanship is impeccable, and the weirdo narrative is intriguing and anything but obvious.
— Scott Indrisek, Modern Painters
On the walls, the work of Brian Adam Douglas (also known as “Elbow-Toe”) thrills. His gorgeous collages are so papery and textural, colourful and luminous that they look like vibrant, painterly Old Masters.
— Ken Russell, The London Times