Introducing Brad Downey
Throughout history, the work of public artists has fallen under bureaucratic sanctions presumably in the greater public interest. In recent years artwork has been confined in galleries and restricted to exhibits unless it has first passed through a gauntlet of regulatory laws and red tape, which ultimately relegates the finished products more to the category of monuments than artwork. Artist Brad Downey rallies against the trend of bureaucratic control with a wonderfully spontaneous, unrestricted, and unpredictable style of public artistry.
Brad Downey grew up in a United States Marine Corps family. He was drawn to the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York City in 1998. Downey also earned a Fine Art Master’s Degree from the Slade School of Art, where he studied under the brilliance of Bruce Mclean.
In 2003 Downey made his directorial debut with the documentary Public Discourse. The film about street art and featuring artists Swoon, Nato, Desa, Ellen Harvey, Shepard Fairey (as Obey), Darius Jones, and JJ Veronis was screened around the world at venues including the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival.
Downey collaborated with Darius Jones on a number of projects from 1999-2005. The team developed a unique site-specific style of renegade public artwork including roller-paint graffiti and sculptures. The novel, The Adventures of Darius and Downey as Told to Ed Zipco, documents their works from that era. When he is not creating spontaneous street art, Downey lectures about unsanctioned artwork. He has been featured in periodicals including the ArtReview, New York Times, Creative Review, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and The Guardian, and was awarded the SEEDA Arts Plus Award for a commission with the Tour de France in 2007.