+ The creative approach is a very personal methodology, and every artist differs when it comes to their artistic process. How do you approach creation? Can you elaborate on your working process?
The creative approach and studio practice of my work is one of the beauty of simplicity; methodologies and processes absent of preconceptions. The juxtaposition of natural mechanics and organized unfamiliarity facilitate insight and form, whereby precision and development are followed by categorical destruction and entropic intoxication. My working process demands that each decision is significant, and each movement, of consequence. Ultimately, objectivity and visceral perception void of contrived lyricism are the most salient constituents of my advancement, both catalyzing an external degree of internal dialogue and reorienting the awareness of the subject matter.
+ What are the principle themes and foci of your work?
The collection of foci contributing to the state and progression of my body of work include such ethereal elements such as the pragmatic constriction of failure, the necessary oddities of the night, and the social commentary of graphic impulsivity. Early work highlighted my fascination and expansion of light and space; specifically, natural light and the paralysis of space. As time elapsed, instantaneously I became interested in the concept of time itself; the spontaneous execution of peculiarities void of intention while resurrecting fragmentations of the past and consciousness manipulation. These obsessive neuroses, mirrors of restlessness - the urgency to create from psychological instability and social isolation ensued. With this information and spirality of self-destruction, the mediation and intersection of street art and fine art media began to fertilize old habits of creation. Life is a multi-dimensional grid, with many layers and puddles, but one vortex of truth.
"[...] WAVERING BETWEEN MEGALOMANIA AND AN INSURMOUNTABLE SHYNESS, PLAGUED BY SELF-DOUBT AND SELF-DESTRUCTIVE IMPULSIVITY." / JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT: 1960-1988 - LEONHARD EMMERLING
+ Your aesthetic; while routed in fundamental art historical themes, is also very distinctive. I’m very interested in an artist with a unique vision placing themselves within the art context, which other art and artists are inspired and influenced by. Within the evolution of your artistic journey, have you found a specific affinity to certain artists; and if so, whom and why?
My vision is not motivated by contextual placement within the art community, or even within a specific movement. Inspiration and influential catalysis become embedded internally and are prompted based on the unconscious mind while consciously avoiding conscious vulnerability and the emergence of ignorance through form, color, texture, and pattern. Aside from the value of authenticity - continuities and interruptions, refraction and tactile rotation - such amalgamations of influence provide information of sensory trickery and engagement. My affinity for certain movements and specific artists are plentiful, ranging from the unorthodox risks, crude experimentation, and progressive influence of Rauschenberg, Dubuffet, and Frankenthaler to the minimal ingenuity, mathematical precision, and bold freedom of Kline, LeWitt and Richter. But, most recently, I have been deeply inspired by the social commentary and primal courage facilitated by Weiwei and Abramovic.
"IT HAD THAT WONDERFUL UNSURE ATMOSPHERE OF REFLECTION - A POETIC FRAME WHERE SOMETHING COULD BE POSSIBLE, WHERE AN ARTIST COULD PRACTICE HIS INTUITION." / DE KOONING: AN AMERICAN MASTER - WILLEM DE KOONING
+ With each work, or as an artist as a whole, what do you wish to communicate to the audience, and how does this specifically affect the final work? Does this change with different works, or series, or does it remain the same with all of your creations?
The basis of my work at every stage - and in turn, the contextual accuracy for galleries, collectors, dealers, and the industry and editorial press, in addition to the finality of experiential understanding and observation - is to communicate a perpetual overexposure to the primal order of existence and inversely, the nonexistence and disconnect of and from originality.
"IT'S NOT WHERE YOU TAKE THINGS FROM, IT'S WHERE YOU TAKE THEM TO." / JEAN-LUC GODARD
+ In a wider context, why do you think art is imperative for the world, and why is it important for you personally as an artist?
Imperative is a strong and divisive term. I view the introduction of art and creation to the world as a necessity by choice. Certainly, a world without art is a very concerning concept; but, I approach this question with a sense of optimistic security, however cynical the state of the world may be. Furthermore, art is important for the community because the creative process enlivens us; such collaborative moments of contemplation demonstrate that without imagination, reality becomes sterility. Ultimately, the sensationalism of the celebrity artist has exemplified the insignificance of relevance. Regardless, the importance of creating is paramount to the future progression of understanding ourselves, the importance of self-expression and acceptance.
+ In your evolution as an artist - both creatively, conceptually, and pragmatically - what has been the biggest frustration or obstacle?
Throughout the evolution of my career as a visual artist, many obstacles and frustrations have contributed to my demeanor and process; but, such experiences provide opportunities to learn, and with that, I have learned to harness and utilize the spectra of emotion to pierce and expound on my current body of work as well as other works-in-progress. To hereby amplify the largest frustration on my behalf, I would be doing a disservice to the community, though I certainly believe most of these obstacles are shared by many. Professionally, publication and representation become invaluable assets that provide traction for the next development. Personally, I am quite an introverted individual; aside from openings and societal engagements, I tend to remain in seclusion, in my thoughts, in my space, though not necessarily in my actions. With that being said, openings are often anxiety-ridden, the environment necessary for the establishment of an introvert, punctuated by a few communicable doses of extroversion. The social media inundation has become paradoxically toxic and comedically ironic, as technology begins to invade the sacred exposed-brick warehouse spaces of the elite. In final, the largest frustration lies in the art community itself; an incestuous community, wary of outsiders. Why has this phenomenon occurred? Fear. We must be steadfast with the acknowledgement of our frustrations and rather than add to the synergistic behavior of further obstacles, extend a helping hand or even, lend an ear; both have and continue to serve me well.
+ Which of your works stands out as a highlight, favorite, or significant point in your creative growth and development? And, why was it most significant to you as an artist?
Because much of my work is incomplete, intentionally, specificity and favoritism do not reside within me for a particular piece. However, my recent transformation and transition . Mother Nature is the example; the fastidious renewal of life and the grief-stricken lament of death reminds me of the beauty and detachment of balance. Deconstruction followed by Reconstruction. These seemingly transparent thoughts of provocation invoke expansive personal goals, creative goals accompanied by poetic happenstance and mathematic speculation. To elaborate, I would very much enjoy exploring cyanotype and anodization processes with the application of color malleability, space dimension, and design constructions. Additionally, the utilization and manipulation of plexiglass plate material and lacquer flow may be of interest to further illustrate metaphorical matter in subliminal isolation. Ultimately, these intriguing processes and methodologies of interest are ever-expanding, thoughts of intrigue germinating every moment; and, the limitations of media availability fuel my desire to create what may not.
+ Artists always vary with the importance placed on communicating their own vision without question or limitation, the emphasis and importance placed on the audience, and how it can and will relate to them. How do you feel when people interpret your artwork inversely, or is there one primary thing you hope to have the viewer experience?
As a visual artist, limitations have become artificial barriers created by oneself without the intention of experience and discovery; therefore, question everything. When I have the opportunity to interface with an audience regarding a specific body of work, I listen intently with the understanding that many patrons, directors, curators, and collectors alike attempt to gain access to the grit by seeking a defined experience achieved through balance and reactivity.
"There is a split in Bradley Gay’s work between the color-laden, tumultuous pieces and the black and white imagery that seems to represent time standing still - a pause, a silent protest. Each piece represents a conglomeration of internalized experiences spanning days or even weeks. Often inspired by social, political, personal, or natural catastrophes, his work can range from a struggle with family illness to a criticism of military intervention a world away. Even memory is subject to examination, Gay says, pointing to a fixation on the 'repressed memories of yesteryear.' When Gay sits down to paint, he allows himself to be led by a remarkable series of contradictions and cancellations that ultimately coalesce into a coherent image. 'Form is drawn from organized unfamiliarity,' Gay says. 'Precision is followed by destruction.' If his loud colorful paintings represent the explosion, then the desaturated pieces form the silent aftermath. The world, with all its unending trauma and joy, provides a steady stream of material. And yet 'without imagination,' Gay says, 'reality becomes sterility.' Bradley Gay currently works and resides in Washington, DC."
"[...] Bradley Gay works at his DC Arts Studios space. Gay moved his work space from Virginia to Takoma after participating in this year's Art Hop, and falling in love with the area. He shares the 'quad' studio with a ceramics artist, an illustrator, and another painter." [Photos by Selena Malott]