Brian Bezalel

I have been extremely fortunate in my life to be able to travel around the world and photograph the places I visit. I believe I found the perfect formula for a photographer – by volunteering in backpacker hostels around the world – I am able to spend months in one location, for free or very cheaply – waiting for that perfect light & finding the most stunning locations.

On top of the ability to photograph, I am able to spend time with other travelers as well as meet locals in each location I visit in a more meaningful way than just passing through a city, town, or village. It was the stories told to me by locals that made me think deeper about the things around me, and the things I was photographing.  Everything has a story or significance to someone at some point. These stories could not always be found in the guidebook or on the internet. It took interaction to discover their stories.

While in Las Vegas, Nevada I stumbled upon a gallery in one of the casinos on the strip. The artwork was stunning, and I had realized that I had the exact same photos as those hanging on the walls for $1,000,000+. Those photos lacked context though, the stories that I had heard while I traveled to those places. Those photos were just a pretty image on the wall to most people, but there was so much more to know about what they were seeing. In that moment I decided to take the photographs I had collected and use them to make people understand the world better, tell the stories associated with the images, and to make people think deeper about the world around them. In that moment, in that gallery in Las Vegas, brainwork! art was born.

The name, brainwork! art came to be for a few different reasons. My name, Brian, is constantly misspelled as “Brain”, something which used to be an annoyance, but something I decided to embrace. “work!” comes from my parents years-long insistence on me getting a “normal” job, something with a more sure career path, something more safe. “Brian work!” was not out of the ordinary to hear from them all the time (but I love them!). Take the misspelled “Brian” and you get “brain work!”, which is what an artist uses to create a piece of art, and what a good piece of art should invoke in the viewer.

Beyond photography, I create music videos related to social or political issues the world faces, as well as my travels. I make avocado pit carvings, make spray-paint artwork, make shell lei’s with Hawaiian Sunrise Shells, (try to) play the ukulele and harmonica, and work to promote the hostel industry, especially within the United States. I have conducted research at the Library of Congress as well as the National Archives studying the origins & history of hostels & the spread of hostels throughout the world.