Brett Callero was born on September 11, 1969. He was raised on the northern outskirts of Chicago in the suburban town of Niles. The suburban surroundings were quite typical of a place developed during the first phase of urban sprawl. Amidst the rhythmic repetition of homes and strip malls rises one prominent feature that makes Niles known to all trivia savants around the world, a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Suburban culture quite often equals stolen culture. Therefore, this reproduction of a famous landmark has become a harbinger of the use of appropriation in Callero’s current work.
Growing up, Callero was the product of TV shows like CHiPs, Night Flight and early MTV. He played games like Trivial Pursuit. He memorized the Billboard Hot 100. He continually soaked up the facts and figures of pop culture in a compulsive manner. He also read the almanac and studied the atlas in order to satisfy his obsessive need for geographical knowledge. Along the way, Callero immersed himself into his own visual language suggestive of the non-fiction he loved.
Callero has a diversified background. He earned a BA in Visual Communication Design and then worked as a graphic designer/art director in Chicago for over 10 years. On multiple occasions, Callero has had his graphic design work published in excellence in design annuals.
In 2001, Callero left his career as a graphic designer and returned to school. In 2004, he graduated with a MFA in Painting.
Since 2007, Callero has been living in Atlanta, where he is a Professor of Foundation Studies at the Savannah College of Art & Design – Atlanta. Besides being a highly regarded professional educator, Callero is a working artist and facilitator of creative thinking. He continues to make and exhibit art on a regular basis.