Brad Downey is a Berlin-based, Kentucky-born artist who has made radical and inspiring artworks all across the globe. This book presents the first full assessment of his works: sculptures, architecture, performances,installations, films,drawings, collages and activism, all inspired by the objects and activities of daily life. With humour, sensitivity, and insight, Downey examines the fabric of our cities and our forgotten margins and disputed borders. In doing so, he weaves new narratives into their chaotic patterns and makes vague the divisions between art and the everyday.
Through an abundance of texts, photos, film-stills, drawings, sketches, collages, portraits and self-portraits, Downey becomes comprehensible as both a conceptual and a performative artist who is not the least bit concerned about the distinction between high- and lowbrow culture. In addition, the wealth of collaborative productions that is shown in this book and that distinguishes and informs Downey s own artistic practice, opens up a view of the broad and international network in which the artist operates across the globe. The book was conceived in close collaboration with the artist, edited by Lukas Feireiss and contains texts by Jimmie Durham, Hrag Vartanian, Alain Bieber, Rafael Schacter, Matthew Murphy, Angelique Spaninks, Jennifer atcher, Marc Wellmann, and Ed Zipco.
Downey is one of the free people. Not a throw-back but slightly out-of-place in these controlled times. He is from the US and so carries that weight around, but lightly, as though it is not such a burden as we know it to be. It is a kind of mentally athletic suppleness he has. If he encounters a fence, a wall, a barrier of any kind, his impulse seems to be to poke a hole in it. Then he can hang some art in the hole. But his ideas about what constitutes art are completely free, unfettered, and uncontrolled. Jimmie Durham
Brad Downey is one of the most highly versatile proponents of Independent Public Art. He creates a wide body of work, comical, as it is contentious, bitingly critical and humorous in equal measure. Downey s projects overthrow the customs and conventions of the urban environment and the norms embedded so well in society that they are perceived as exactly that: as proper or suitable rather than prohibitive or invasive. Brad Downey is represented in museums and galleries around the world.