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Brad Downey  Berlin, Germany

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Brad

There are multitudes of signals and systems that govern our cities and imperceptibly determine our everyday movement. Artist Brad Downey stakes a claim for the right of the individual to interpret and understand these systems, and thus regain power in the public arena.

As a public, we are acclimatized to these signs and beacons, and their subtle manipulation and proliferation can go undetected. Brad Downey, via his art, shines a light on this institutional regulation of public behavior. By wider awareness of these controls, his viewing public, he hopes, will gain greater understanding of his own urban and social situation.

Subtle, comic and very often provocative, Downey aims to surprise the viewer by illuminating how public and private property, and urban space and personal experience, overlap in an era of increasing privatization. He finds forgotten remnants of urban architecture to re-invent and rejuvenate. These are then re-inserted into the everyday landscape. The works are a temporary disruption, usually remaining in place for as short a time as a few minutes, but also sometimes becoming a permanent fixture in the landscape of the metropolis

Brad Downey is a graduate of the Fine Art Master’s programme in painting at London’s prestigious Slade School of Art, where he studied under Bruce McLean. He grew up in a United States Marine Corps family that settled in many towns and cities across the United States. This upbringing gave him unique insight into the variations and similarities in the 20th century urban environment. His studies at Pratt Art Institute drew him to New York City in 1998, the city that catapulted his unique approach to fine art. Stimulated by the buzz of the city, he began to seek out alternative artistic methods for reacting to his urban environment.

Brad Downey uses film, sculpture, painting and drawing, among other media, and is currently situated in Berlin.

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8 reactions displayed

"I LOVE YOUR WORK it's alsome and you have great humor and style keep up the great work..."

"Great ironic interesting and fun stuff, Mr. Downey! I really dig street, as it were, coming into higher art. And the idea of completely unexpected public art, such as the sign you have featured here. I love it when art hits you in the gut like that unexpectedly. And it's subtle... Great stuff!!PS. I get more entertainment from rSADler's comments than from the art featured here on many days - not that that is true with this artist, however. He's crazy, as many of us are, but really wants you to know it. Real bad... Funny guy. (Citation: his entire website, repeatedly.)"

"Awesome it has humor"

"The descriptions he has on his website are hilarious, he's a witty guy."

"Brad Downey is of the streeeeeeeeeeeets. But he made the leap to FINE art. Now he is in galleries and magazines. Hurrah. Progess."

"I love signs. Thats why I love this art. I don't like impermanence of streetart, but he has left that behind. (Exxcept the DVD).I looked at the website. Very Good."

"Love It! :)~"

"The top one is sleek, but the way I feel about signs is that most of them are for safety purposes. The signs arent there to control your life, they are there to be more protective than anything. Id recommend for Brad Downey (if he hasnt already) to go ride around on a freeway in a 3rd world country and let us know how he feels without signs. You get freedom, but you also get the constant fear of death. The blanket of comfort that signs (and cops enforcing them) provide is more than subtle."

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