||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2007)|
Brad Downey (born 1980 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American artist. He uses film, sculpture, painting and drawing to reflect on concepts about the Establishment versus the audience. Downey currently lives in Berlin.
Downey earned a fine art master's degree in painting and sculpture from the Slade School of Art, where he studied under Bruce Mclean. He grew up in a United States Marine Corps family. Pratt Institute drew him to New York City in 1998.
His first feature length film, Public Discourse, a documentary about street art has been screened at over 70 venues around the world including the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival. It includes work by street artists such as Swoon, Obey Giant, Revs, Nato, Desa, Ellen Harvey, JJ Veronis, and Johnny Swing from the Rivington School, and features music by Japanther. Public Discourse was distributed by Video Data Bank.
Downey initially worked collaboratively with Darius Jones A.K.A. Verbs (an American graffiti artist from Cincinnati, Ohio). As a team they developed a style of concept/image-based roller-paint graffiti and a unique illegal site-specific brand of three-dimensional sculptures, where functional traffic symbols become humanized. A novel entitled The Adventures of Darius and Downey as Told to Ed Zipco, was published by Thames and Hudson in 2008 about their collaborative work spanning from 1999 to 2005.
Downey regularly lectures about unsanctioned public artwork. He was named as one of the ArtReview 25 MA graduates to watch in 2005. He has been featured in The New York Times, Creative Review July, 2004, Atlanta Journal Constitution'' and The Guardian, among others.
He has exhibited in venues such as Urbis museum in Manchester, Tate Modern, Kunstlerhaus Bethanian in Berlin, the Basil Art Fair in Miami, the ICA in London, and Mass MOCA in the USA, Peacock Visual Arts, in Scotland, Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche in Osnabrück, Kunstcentret Silkeborg Bad, in Denmark.
In 2008, Downey sprayed green paint on the shopping windows of Berlins historical KaDeWe mall, which the owners reported to the police as an act of vandalism. However, Downey had been contracted by the Lacoste clothing brand (along with 11 other street artists) for an exhibition at KaDeWe celebrating the 75th anniversary of the brand, and he maintained that he was just fulfilling his contract. Die Tageszeitung speculated that the incident might have been a media stunt by Lacoste.
- Kadewe - Art-Magazine Kadewe - Taz (german)
- Zipco, Ed. "The Adventures of Darius and Downey: And other True Tales of Street Art, As Told to Ed Zipco", Thames&Hudson (2008) ISBN 0-500-51395-3.
- Brad Downey in the Video Data Bank
- Sculpture (Tour de France) on BBC
- Videos of Brad Downey: “The Studio” (2011), "House of Cards II" (2007), "Mieze" (2007)