Brooklyn artist inspired by audio gear

Keil Borrman's abstract paintings were conceived as an homage to the very best local hi-fi manufacturers' gear. The Audiophiliac takes a look.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read

Keil Borrman with one of his paintings. Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Keil Borrman is an artist and an audiophile, and for his latest exhibition he fused his passions in a series of paintings, "The Choice We Face," currently on display at the Helpers gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

When I visited the gallery this past Saturday, Borrman was perched on a tall ladder, hanging sound-absorbing material on the ceiling. We chatted a bit about the art, a series of abstract paintings inspired by audio gear made near New York state.

A lot of galleries have sound systems, but the one at the Helpers for this show was truly outstanding; there was a VPI Traveler turntable, Grado phono cartridge, Rogers High Fidelity tube amplifier, and DeVore Fidelity Orangutan speakers. The sound fueled the creation of the pieces -- Borrman is turned on by sound, and that's reflected in his work.

The Rogers amplifier and DeVore speakers at the Helpers show. Steve Guttenberg/CNET

He put it this way: "To me, the art in music isn't just found in the notes on the pages; it's in the experience of listening. The reality is that most music gets experienced through recordings, but music has become so easily consumable that we've lost sight of the care that goes into bringing those recordings to life."

Exactly -- music isn't just notes. The sound of music changes the way we feel it. The hi-fi components playing music at "The Choice We Face" were designed and made by people who share a passion for great sound.

Borrman lives and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn. His work, including projects involving painting and drawing, sculpture, food and performance, has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

Call ahead to arrange for an appointment. The prices of the paintings start at $3,000. If all goes well, Borrman might even be able to buy some of the gear the manufacturers loaned to him for this exhibition. "The Choice We Face" runs through May 18.