Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Art Space Talk: David Brady

I discovered the art of David Brady a few months ago while doing random searches about expressionism. Many of his paintings remind me of 'open wounds'. In my opinion, his work reflects the pain of humanity.

Viewing his art takes on an almost sadistic nature for me. I see the pain and struggle that is reflected in Mr. Brady's art. Instead of turning away I find that his images make me all the more curious as to what his work is saying. I must look because the images draw me in.

Like a young boy poking a small carcass with a stick, I study these 'visual wounds' for their hidden meaning. The tortured nature of his work offers great insight into the human condition. Each layer seems to give visual documentation to the suffering our society has endured.

I hope that you all enjoy this interview with David Brady.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "When I was a kid. I was always making things, making them different from others. Playing music was the most important creative aspect of my life then but I always knew I would need to express myself through some creative form."

Q. How has creating art shaped you professionally and personally?

A. "Professionally it has been a blessing and a challenge as everything I work on now has to have some meaning in it. I’ve moved around quite a bit taking on new challenges, new directions professionally because I need to feel as challenged their as in my painting.

Personally it has completely changed me as collaborating, teaching, sharing and traveling all through my creative projects has taught me a great deal. The more I invest into creative projects the more I learn about myself and humanity and the responsibility we have as artists to point some things out.

My website has shaped my view of how art affects others. I began to receive a lot of email from students, veterans and adults who found inspiration on many levels by looking at my work. Many of the emails were quite personal and desperate yet seeking something through art. It has had a profound affect on me and how I share my work with others. It’s important to share your gift."
Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "Nowadays there is…in the past I simply was just doing things that looked good, trying to find my niche and be successful at it. Things changed 180 degrees when I began to collaborate with poet Amde Hamilton and composer Mark Sims. They had purpose, meaning and were dead serious about educating society through their various projects."
Q. What are your artistic influences? Has anyone inspired you?

A. "Artistically I was first influenced by Francis Bacon, Miles Davis, David Hockney, Ed Kienholtz and Frieda Khalo. Today my inspiration comes from more outsiders like Joseph Cornell, Henry Darger and Ray Johnson and collagists Betty Saar and Romaire Bearden."

Q. Tell me a little about your background. Are your past experiences reflected in the work you do today? If so, how?

A. "I am self taught as an artist and have brought a host of influences as well as personal objects into my work. Some of my work stems from personal experiences and my reactions to them. I think it took some time for me to allow myself to actually put personal and or intimate details out there for people to see and react to them. Expressing past experiences and common themes in society such as loneliness, addiction, protection and relationships requires the work to be authentic. Blogging onto the painting and burying artifacts into the surface are direct methods I use to reflect experiences. People see this at times as voyeuristic when viewing, like reading someone’s diary or finding personal photos."

Q. Do you have an upcoming exhibit? If so, where and when?

A. "I have several things brewing for the beginning of the year so check my site and drop me a line for some info."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it? What is your artistic process?

A. "'Negotiating Boundaries' (Above image) is currently still on the easel. Like many of my pieces it began with a lone figure yet became a work about the Iraq War US casualties by chance. The news was on when I was working on it and I began to blog about my feelings about how we never see caskets coming back nor the fact that it is all about oil.

I received an old American flag in the mail from a friend at that time and simply began glueing the names of each soldier daily as they were killed. I tried to hide them under the flag but the list was so big that they began to spill out, like the oil coming out of the figures mind. The twisted wire (easily found in alleys, crazy wire as I say) is never altered bent etc. this represents the insane thinking behind the whole thing. After hearing a lot of wining from people about how they didn’t like to be reminded of the war I then spelled out A P A T H Y across it in white."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "I have used a wide range of mediums and continue to experiment. It is more of a reaction to where the piece is going and what I have in my studio at the moment. My work nearly always begins with layers of text usually pages from the dictionary, Bible or construction maps."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art?

A. "I am self-taught and continue to learn from a lot of travel, reading, collaborating, teaching and experimenting."

Q. Where can we see more of your art?

A. " "

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? If not, do you want to be?

A. "I am not currently represented by a gallery and am seeking representation here and abroad."

Q. Why do you create art?

A. "I feel that I have to…it defines me. I have always felt a need to express myself as most artists do. For me now it is about telling stories, utilizing my creativity to assist others through my teaching programs as well as simply enjoying the gift I’ve been given."

Q. Where can we find you on

A. " I will be posting a gallery later this evening under bradyArt or addiction."

Feel free to comment about Mr. Brady's art. Critiques are welcome.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin


Anonymous said...

This work is absolutely amazing....I Love it...If the work is ever shown near Columbus Ohio...I would love to see it

Unknown said...

These are some masterful creations... I see Bacon in there, but there is such a unique, individual expression that I forget about "who this reminds me of' and just LOOK. Another fab interview- thanks Brian!

Anonymous said...

A friend told me about this artist... because my blog entries reminded her of his portrayals... it appears that the artist is absolutely conjuring his images from deep inside, as I do for my blog entries. It is healing. Thank-you.

Balhatain said...

Danielle, Jessica, KL...

I'm glad the three of you enjoy Mr. Brady's art.

I think his art conveys a sense of raw emotion that is often not represented in the 'art world' today.

His work may seem brutal, but do we not live in a brutal society? I think facing images like this is the first step toward accepting the fact that most of us do not look under the surface of our environment.

Anonymous said...

I am lucky enough to own a painting by Mr. Brady and several other printed pieces. I have always loved his work and found that while he is often reluctant to tell the stories behind them, the commonalities of human emotion allow them to tell their own stories.

Anonymous said...

These works touch my soul, I feel it in my heart, my bones, my flesh, my spirit. Oh I need to see the artwork eye to eye!

Lora Medina said...

I first met David in the mid 80's, lost touch with him only to rediscover him just today and I am very impressed with all he has accomplished via his Artworks and community outreach work.
Applauds to you David!!
Here's tribute to Art, Samba, You!!!

Lora Medina, Montana