BRAD DOWNEY (US)

Brad Downey is a Berlin-based, Kentucky-born artist who has made radical and inspiring artworks all across the globe: sculptures, architecture, performances, installations, films, drawings, collages and activism all inspired by the objects and activities of daily life.

With humour, sensitivity, and insight, Downey examines the fabric of our cities and our forgotten margins and disputed borders. In doing so, he weaves new narratives into their chaotic patterns and makes vague the divisions between art and the everyday.

Both a conceptual and a performative artist who is not the least bit concerned about the distinction between high- and lowbrow culture, his work revolves around the role of the individual in the city and its physical or dreamlike construction.

Consistently finding new ways to provoke and explore, Downey is an influential figure among a handful of artists pushing the aesthetic and conceptual dimensions of graffiti and street art into contemporary fine art practice.

Recent projects include a public commission for Södertälje Hospital in Sweden where Downey took six hospital items to six different locations where people had experienced miraculous healing in an attempt to imbue them with the same properties before returning them to the hospital along with the photo documentation. In summer 2019 Downey was the subject of international media attention when he commissioned an amateur sculptor to produce a life-size statue of the US first lady Melania Trump on the outskirts of her hometown Sevnica in Slovenia.

INSTAGRAM:
@bigtimebrad

WEBSITE:
www.braddowney.com

 

PLUG-IN PULPIT

Brad Downey and Diego Sologuren joined forces to produce an architectural suit designed to attach to Oslo’s public e-scooters. In doing so, this functional sculpture becomes a ´gig worker´ (its data is collected) in exchange for the possibility to move quickly. In addition to staging public performances, the object was used to access rooftops and ledges undetected, as well as for unsanctioned firefighting.

E-scooter companies have been criticized for their casual approach towards municipalities and road safety laws. The Plug-in Pulpit takes the discussion of the Smart City further through the use of hacking as a means of re-appropriating the devices implemented by the structures of power.

Among those to collaborate with Downey and Sologuren on a series of public performances were the Bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg; opera singer Anne Røkke; and graffiti writer World War Treeman.