Ry David Bradley’s 21th Century

Going back to the Future

Ry David Bradley, 21th Century #8, 2017
Ry David Bradley, 21th Century #8, 2017
10 MAY 2017
by

Ry David Bradley’s debut solo exhibition at PM/AM is engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining. This new body of work is inspired by 3D rendering and ocular manipulation. Anaglyphic stereo: a process pioneered in the early 20th century adopted colour theory to provide the illusion of depth of field in images via 3D glasses. This provides an intriguing form of engagement from the audience and challenges the desire for immediate gratification that dominates today’s society.

The works when initially encountered are serenely beautiful and enticing. Hanging strikingly in the basement gallery of PM/AM these large canvases are dense with vivid abstract forms and vibrant colours. But most of all they hint that there may be more than meets the eye which automatically creates a slower pace of viewing. Find yourself a pair of 3D spectacles and they then blossom into dynamic and engaging visuals that envelope the viewer. The barrier of the glasses is forgotten and the viewer encounters a truly individual and almost physical experience.

These 3D processes were championed in 1950’s America and through viewing this series of works in such a way the audience finds themselves in a strange limbo between historic memorabilia and the modern world. This process of ‘looking’ forces the viewer to slow down and take a moment to adjust and digest what is being offered. A slower pace of life that should be embraced and enjoyed. Recent press articles about the modern addiction to smartphones are highlighting a frivolity that is focused on the immediate. Ry David Bradley’s works provide an alternative.

Ironically in the 1950’s such 3D developments may have been perceived as op-art, itself a mid-century movement correlating to the early use of computers. Perhaps then these developments were seen as detrimental to society: the equivalent of today’s smartphones? Regardless of this, Ry David Bradley has an obvious fascination with the impact of hyperreality on the individual: an exploration into the evolution in contemporary perception via analogue techniques and the notion of a shared language through screens.

Technology seamlessly permeates every facet of our daily lives, and we are so accustomed to digital screens that they are taken for granted. In an ever accelerating society, the shift of new techniques from futuristic vision to forgotten obsolescence to retro collectable gathers increasing momentum. Whether this is progress or not is debatable and a question that cannot be easily answered. The paintings of Ry David Bradley instead confronts and explores the inescapable limitations of the body, along with the ever expanding potential of overcoming them. And does so in a method that is so obviously out of touch with a contemporary experience. Through this process he questions how the traditions of painting, from unconscious reactions to optical stimulation to our psychical relationship to physicality, may become even more potent in an increasingly immaterial world.

Ry David Bradley (1979 Melbourne, Australia) studied at the Victorian College of Arts (MFA). In 2009 he founded Painted, Etc., a global research blog with an audience of 150,000 followers for painting and digital culture. Recent institutional exhibitions include; Art of the Matter, Contemporary Art Musuem St Louis, 2016; Painting, More Painting, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2016; Face to Face, Palazzo Fruscione, 2016; Superposition of Three Types, Artspace Museum, Sydney, 2016. The artist has presented solo and group exhibitions in; New York, London, Paris, Milan, Kansas City, Basel, Cologne, Miami, Sydney, Los Angeles and Melbourne. His work is held in the National Gallery of Victoria and significant private international collections including the Aldala Collection.