Injecting Intrigue Into Urban Environments
World-renowned public artist Brad Downey specializes in making the mundane urban landscape come alive with unexpected works of art. Each piece is unique to its environment and inspires passersby to reflection and introspection amidst their travels. Downey uses many unusual materials when creating his often-uncommissioned works. He inspires people to take a second look; not only at his surprising installations, but also at the world in general through his artwork that references politics, history, and contemporary society.
Between 2008 and 2013 Brad Downey constructed a variety of spontaneous and innovative sculptures on the streets of France, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. He named this intriguing collection “Sidewalks”.
Is a colorful arrangement of disposable debris emerging to form a humanoid form…or is a humanoid form of trash diving into a nearby trash receptacle? One would never know if the work were not named “Rubbish Suicide”.
“Bike and Sidewalk” (2012) Berlin, Germany. This piece elicits imagination as to who rode their bike into wet cement, and then continued by foot without the bike, on some unknown mission.
“Fountain” (2013) Klagenfurt, Austria. Downey used a bicycle to create a unique and amusing water fountain.
“Wehrmann with Magnets” (2011) Vienna, Austria. Downey placed colorful magnets on the “Iron Soldier” of Vienna, to reinvigorate the WWI symbol of Austrian unity.
In 1915 in an effort to raise money for the families of fallen soldiers, the wooden statue was erected. For every nail that citizens contributed, money was donated to soldiers’ families. It is estimated that there are over ½ million nails in the Iron Soldier.
“Rubbish Suicide” made an appearance in Berlin, Germany in 2007.
This version of “Rubbage Suicide” was a part of Names Fest 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic.
“Booth Fill” (2008) Paris, France. Downey created a colorful spectacle for Parisians by filling a phone booth with balloons. Perhaps it is homage to the disappearance of the phone booth in public spaces.