Whether the subject of his work is biting social commentary, as in Study for Standing While All Around are Sinking, or beloved cultural icons like Hank Williams, in Honky Tonk Man, Brown's singular style is at once whimsical and straightforward, yielding powerful and even unsettling images. The graphic qualities and iconic directness of Brown's work translate particularly well into printmaking. Collaborations with Landfall Press from the 1970s to the 1990s produced editions in a variety of media, including lithographs, etchings, and woodcuts.
Born in 1941, in Hamilton, Alabama, Brown attended the American Academy of Art, Chicago, and later received a BFA and MFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. In 1987 he had a major solo exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.