American-born artist Joe Bradley was born in the small town of Kittery, Maine, but for many years he has been most closely associated with the New York City art scene. His work is totally unique and completely his own, and he has been gaining fans and pleasing collectors for years now.
Joe Bradley is perhaps best known for his unique figure paintings, and the techniques he uses to create them are as unique as the paintings themselves. Joe Bradley uses assembled canvases to create human figures, combining the worlds of traditional portraiture while introducing elements of minimalism, color field and abstraction.
Indeed, Joe Bradley is most often associated with the minimalist movement, but his work is not entirely minimalist in nature. Joe Bradley has sometimes said that his work is shoddy, but in a very intentional way.
That intentional shoddiness is due in part to the inexpensive store-bought canvasses that form the backbone of his paintings. But even though he uses cheap canvas, Joe Bradley still chooses his colors, and the surface textures he uses, with the utmost care.
This combination of inexpensive materials and careful technique has created paintings that are eclectic, beautiful and completely unique. While he is not the only artist to experiment with these combinations, Joe Bradley is certainly one of the most successful.
While he exhibited an interest in, and an affinity for, creative endeavors from an early age, Joe Bradley also felt a strong need for formal artistic training. To get the training he needed, Joe Bradley attended the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a BFA in 1999.
Throughout the years, Joe Bradley has enjoyed great success, launching a number of collaborative and solo exhibitions in galleries and museums around the country. Some of his most notable exhibitions included showcases of his new paintings at the Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston, a series of works at the Lombar-Freid Fine Arts Gallery in New York City and the Greener Pastures Gallery in Toronto, Canada.
In recent years, Joe Bradley has also exhibited his paintings and other works at the Midway Contemporary Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Galeria Comercial in San Juan, Puerto Rico and PS 1 Contemporary Art at Long Island City. Throughout it all, Joe Bradley has continued to refine his techniques and improve his style, building on the successes he has already enjoyed and pointing the way to an even more successful future in contemporary art.
One of the things that sets Joe Bradley apart from his peers is the fact that his work is so hard to pigeonhole. He may be most closely associated with the minimalist school of art, but many of his works do not fit neatly into the minimalist style.
Instead, Joe Bradley has often described his own works as belonging to the slacker aesthetic, a unique style that uses the least possible amount of effort to create works that are creative, beautiful and completely unique. While artists like Joe Bradley make their work look easy, the Joe Bradley is not about laziness or lack of creativity. By taking store-bought materials and transforming them into stunning works of art, Joe Bradley and his contemporaries are displaying a dedication and attention to detail many lesser artists simply do not possess.
Working with bright primary colors, timeless themes and a creative aesthetic style, Joe Bradley is able to breathe new life into a field that had become stale and uninteresting. His works may recall the old color field style of painting, but they are unique creations, able to evoke strong emotions among all who view them.
This evocative nature is clearly present in one of Joe Bradley's signature works, a grease pencil creation called Schmagoo. This painting is comprised of simple materials, including the aforementioned grease pencil, but the end result is a work of elegance and true power.
Schmagoo in particular has often been compared to the works of Cy Twombly, high praise indeed for any contemporary artist. Through his many years in the modern art scene, has developed a reputation for unique works, comprised of bright primary colors and a variety of materials. His works are highly sought after by collectors, and they are quickly finding their way into the best galleries around the world.
Joe Bradley All Duck, 2010 oil on canvas 79 x 69 inches
Joe Bradley Heavy Dipper, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 144.25 x 108 x 1.75 inches
Joe Bradley Nightrunner with Strike, 2007 Acrylic on canvas in 5 parts 96.5 x 63 inches
Joe Bradley Untitled (Pink Schmagoo), 2015 Oil on canvas 64 x 60 inches
Joe Bradley Superman, 2008 Grease pencil on canvas 70 x 60 inches
Joe Bradley Man Made Dirigible, 2008 Grease pencil on canvas 60 x 96 inches