In anticipation of our upcoming show Looking For U we went to visit Ry David Bradley in his Holborn studio to get a glimpse of his newest works: a series of three Stretched Dye Cotton Tapestries.
Ry David Bradley is driven by a need to preserve traditional art and by an enthusiasm for the potential of technology. He graduated with an MFA from Melbourne University in 2013 and in 2009 he founded the popular international website PAINTED, ETC., which chronicles the relationship between technology and painting (www.paintedetc.com). David Bradley utilises a practice which focuses on how our artistic techniques have evolved in an era where our physical and virtual reality have become both intertwined and inseparable. His incredible use of materials- from heating dyes, superfine mesh and vinyl stickers to synthetic suede and digital tapestries, David Bradley consistently interrogates the interplay between the digital and tangible worlds.
20th century painting has been very much hinged on the increasing distortion of the face through abstraction. These new works have a distinct link to this historic legacy but utilizing techniques and concepts fundamental to the 21st century digital era. David Bradley has spent much of 2018 creating his own custom digital brushes, which emulate an aesthetic which is reflective of the visual qualities created using A.I facial recognition. He states that although such an aesthetic: which results in highly stylized and fairly disconcerting facial distortion seems fairly jarring at first, that it will in time become something that we will all become accustomed to.
Rather than printing these outcomes, Ry David Bradley opted to weave these initial figurative distortions into tapestries using a Jacquard loom- a known precursor to modern computers. Such a technique hence preserves the artwork of the digital generation in an incredibly tangible and materially robust way. The technique is delightfully at odds with the trajectory of digital storage in our digital world - where our files and data are uncomfortably transient, where previous states are overwritten and lost to the latest version.