- Ree's paintings always looked like they were living things, even though they looked nothing like the living things they portrayed.
I'll let another Seattle legend, photographer Alice Wheeler, tell it. Her note:
This is just to let you know that Ree Brown died Monday February 10, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. He was 87. He and his partner, artist Jay Steensma, were fixtures in the avant-garde art scene in Seattle from the 1970s till Jay's death in 1995, and Ree for twenty more years after that. In the mid-1970's Ree began to draw, and then paint and sculpt. He was self-taught, making mostly small portraits of birds, cats, and people. In the late 1980s, Ree started to show in Seattle with MIA Gallery, then at Garde Rail Gallery and most recently at Vermillion. Ree is also included in 20th Century American Folk, Self-Taught, and Outsider Art by Betty-Carol Sellen and also featured in several documentaries about outsider art including this one on Youtube. He did a popular cover of The Stranger featuring a black cat. Ree was a mentor and friend to many artists, collectors, and curators including Wes Wehr, Joe Reno, Mark Muller, Joe Max Emminger, Morris Graves, and me. ... We are planning a memorial party at Vermillion tba. Thanks, Alice Wheeler