Bret Reilly

In 1973, Keep the River Clear, a small mural depicting the Hudson River sailboat “Clearwater” took first prize at the “Save the Hudson” benefit gala. Out of hundreds of entries from artists of all ages, a then 6-year-old Bret Reilly claimed that honor. Now, that little boy matured into a true, modern-day creative—achieving success in sculpture, design, and music—with each mode of expression woven throughout his life, enhancing the others, rather than existing as independent entities. After graduating from Skidmore College in 1989 with a degree in studio art, Bret moved to NYC where he apprenticed for famed sculptor Bryan Hunt. During his years in New York, Bret also pursued music. He performed more than 200 concerts in NYC clubs and has written and recorded more than 400 songs. Three of his songs appear in the Farrelly Brother’s hit motion pictures: Dumb and Dumber; Dumb and Dumber To; Me, Myself and Irene; and There’s Something about Mary. After meeting his wife in LA, Bret moved back to New York in 2003 to pursue sculpture full-time. Bret has exhibited at the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs as well as multiple solo shows in New York City between 2004 and the present. He resided in France during the spring of 2006 to create his solo exhibition “No Smoking” which exhibited in Paris. In addition, Bret’s sculptures have been featured in exhibitions in Miami, Martha’s Vineyard, and Rye, NY. Collectors have commissioned more than 100 works from the artist, which live in residences and corporate installations around the globe. In 2016, Bret took a leap from figurative to functional sculpture and patented his first minimalist lounge chair. In 2017, Reilly signed a contract with Fendi Casa and his first sofa collection was launched in showrooms worldwide. Continuing to develop his functional creations, Bret earned his second patent for a newly designed mouse trap in 2020. With new inspiration from his family and life experiences, Bret returned to the recording studio and released Bluebird in 2020. His first album in 20 years, Bluebird made the Grammy ballot in five different categories, including album of the year and song of the year. Bret’s follow-up album is currently in production, scheduled to be released in 2022. While the COVID pandemic shut down society, it offered Bret a focused opportunity to return to sculpture and earn representation at the Colm Rowan Gallery in East Hampton. Bret’s solo show, Swing, showcases ten new works suspended from the ceilings and balanced off the walls, all featuring his signature element—the incorporation of colorful real shoes.

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