WorkUntitled

The magazine for critique and discourse between artist, collectors, and curators.

FOLLOW US @WORKUNTITLED_MAG

CONVERSATIONS

MAGAZINES

ARTISTS

INFO

COLLABORATE

PROFIT SHARES

Ramos:  a lot of narrative to this piece

 

Bradley:  ‪yeah I definitely like to have at least a vague narrative‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪a major city, what looks like a marginal city adjacent to it, and then these bodies

‬‬

all within a huge landscape that seems to be otherwise uninhabited

 

what is the vague narrative?

 

Bradley:  ‪the narrative boils down to two major questions: for such a dense city, why is it so desolate, and what are these bodies doing outside of the city?

‬‬

Ramos:  ‪right‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪I wanted to create a sense of space that segregated civilization‬‬

and placed our point of view from the outskirts

 

looking in, and beyond

 

I wanted the perspective to be a little altered from each segment‬‬

so that you get a sense of vertigo

 

Ramos:  ‪the lack of highways connecting to other cities is what makes it segregated?‬‬

 

Bradley: segregated in terms of space

 

we have the dense area, separated by a ridge and series of hills and mountains

 

Ramos:  ‪right like Bogotá

 

Bradley:  ‪yes or Rio‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪except without macro infrastructure connecting to other cities‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪I have been debating with myself how large i want this city‬‬

 

my first idea was to have it recede almost infinitely

 

in the distance we would see the densest area

 

i liked having this city feel more isolated

 

Ramos:  ‪it becomes incestual‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪why would there be a solitary city?‬‬

 

why is it disconnected? are there any other cities at all?

 

Ramos:  ‪is the disconnection important?‬‬

 

it is not explicit since the city continues to the right of the canvas

 

Bradley:  ‪implying that there is more to this city or world?

‬‬

Ramos:  ‪right... if it was about disconnection, the city would be small within a huge ‬‬aerial

 

small in terms of space on the canvas, not in terms of density or scale of the actual city

 

Bradley:  ‪true. that is why i was leaning towards emphasizing the desert behind the city. I wanted to view this in terms of separate horizontal planes‬‬

 

perhaps the city bleeding past the edges of the canvas undermines the concept

 

but i did want it to seem immense

 

Ramos:  ‪it does seem immense, but for all I know, it is a small part of an even larger city that covers the world‬‬

 

what about the bodies?

 

Bradley:  ‪for me the city is bordered by a desert on one side, and the bodies on the other‬‬

 

‬‬Ramos:  ‪are the bodies a landscape of their own?‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪the bodies are weird because they aren't in the city‬‬

 

the pov is that of someone entering the city

 

or someone leaving and looking back

 

Ramos:  ‪pov?‬

 

Bradley:  ‪POV point of view‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪ohh ahha... wouldn't have guessed‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪someone or some group intentionally put these bodies there‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪which one is it? are they coming or going?‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪coming‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪from where?‬‬

 

if they were going, then it would reinforce the isolation narrative

 

because it does not imply the existence of another city

 

‪if they are coming, then the next city can't be so far away

 

Bradley:  ‪true.‬‬

  ‬‬

‪the way i had rationalized it was more like an alien perspective‬‬‬‬

 

arriving at this place, first we see the bodies, then we wonder if there is anyone else left in the city at all

 

Ramos:  ‪it looks more like the perspective of another body‬‬

 

‪looking back at the city it left behind‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪that is another idea i had as well, because then you are among the bodies‬‬

 

so the origin ‪is a dream i had many years ago of these giant forklifts dumping bodies along the side of US1‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪I'm going to disregard that‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪ok‬‬

 

lol

 

why?

 

Ramos:  ‪because i see this alien perspective as a common thread in your work‬‬

 

‪such as Docking Bay‬‬

 

Galen Bradley

Docking Bay

Acrylic on Canvas, 2010

36 x 24"

Bradley:  ‪yes. there's kind of a question as to why you're there at all‬‬

and why isn't anyone else

‬‬

there's a story of something that happened

 

like we are archaeologists

 

the mystery of the disappearance of humanity

 

there are clues

 

but i wanted it to be less clinical

 

Ramos:  ‪cynical?‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪but more of an all encompassing loss‬‬

 

clinical, as in a scientific observer

 

i don't want it to be neutral

 

‪there is a tone I am trying to achieve that is straddling the line between an observer and the absurd horror of the reality

‬‬

there is a feeling that i get sometimes that rides that line, and it is tricky to talk about

 

Ramos:  ‪you are painting horror scenes‬‬

 

or suspense

 

Bradley:  ‪essentially‬‬

 

Ramos: there is nobody there, no clue of bodies this time

 

a potted plant has fallen over

 

but there is no wind

 

and no footsteps

 

so whoever knocked it, ran the other way

 

and I think ran, because if they weren't in a rush, why not pick up the mess?

 

Bradley:  ‪there is an absurdity to the potted plant

‬‬

to me it somewhat humorous

 

this is that tricky emotional line again

 

Ramos:  ‪perhaps someone was holding the plant, the explosion happened and they dropped it‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪perhaps‬‬

 

‪im trying to recall some of my impulses for the painting‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪and it all happened so fast, the person who dropped the plant forgot to put their trousers on before evacuating‬‬

Galen Bradley

Space Walk

Acrylic on Canvas, 2010

30 x 48"

 

 

Bradley:  ‪people do things, like keep plants, ‬‬

 

or feel the need for pants

 

‪build cities‬‬

 

but there so many more powerful forces

 

we bring plants with us into space

 

‪plants are interesting because they are living, but are so neutral. we harvest them for their beauty to place in a vase

‬‬

to give as a gift

 

but it's not the plant's normal environment

 

they are already out of place in a certain way

 

there is a tenderness in keeping a plant

 

and growing attached to it

 

Ramos:  ‪I noticed another plant in this piece‬‬

Galen Bradley

Untitled (Monster with Plant)

Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas, 2010

36 x 24"

Ramos:  ‪the figure in this piece looks tender only because it seems to be absorbed by the plant

‬‬

Bradley:  ‪yeah it is a hideous creature, but it is attracted to this little symbol of beauty

‬‬

it's rather sad to me

 

futility is an interesting concept to me

 

Ramos:  ‪it is sad, there is a trace of humanity in it's meditation towards the flower... there is also humanity in it's breast‬‬

 

futility as in vanity?

 

Bradley:  ‪they are related‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪was this woman once as beautiful as this flower‬‬?

 

Bradley:  ‪we think our actions have a certain degree of importance

‬‬

no it was born an abomination

 

a pile of useless flesh

 

‪but yet it still lives

 

‬‬Ramos:  ‪are those breast real?‬‬

 

or is it an attempt at beauty?

 

Bradley:  ‪the breasts are a useless appendage‬‬

 

like the appendix

 

it has the appearance of a function

 

Ramos:  ‪or of beauty‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪correct‬‬

 

you have this pile of flesh

 

none of it is functional

‬‬

when we see a human body

 

we attach certain significance to it

 

especially a dead body

 

our flesh becomes something different in death

 

Ramos:  ‪this pile of flesh is not dead‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪right‬‬

 

it hasn't decayed

 

Ramos:  ‪it is clearly sustaining itself with what seems like limbs

‬‬

it is also reaching for the flower

 

Bradley:  ‪you're talking about the monster with the plant‬‬

 

sorry i went back to the city one

 

Ramos:  ‪yes the she-monster

‬‬

well, the bodies in the first painting are not dead either

 

Bradley:  ‪no they aren't

‬‬

Ramos:  ‪they may be suffering‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪they are in a minimal state

‬‬

not quite dead, not quite alive

 

‪in a stasis of suffering

 

Ramos:  ‪like the she-monster‬‬

 

what are you trying to say? about humanity‬‬

 

how many monsters don't we encounter with perfectly crafted breast?

 

Bradley:  ‪i guess i'm trying to say we are all sacks of flesh, desperately trying to connect, have a purpose, but more than anything humanity just suffers

‬‬

but this isn't exactly a tragedy

 

it is the way it is

 

Ramos:  ‪humanity does suffer‬‬

 

isn't suffering optional?

 

pain is inevitable

 

but suffering is optional

 

Bradley:  ‪hmm

‬‬

Ramos:  ‪it's how we deal with the pain that causes suffering‬‬

for example, hunger

 

Bradley:  ‪yes you can theoretically be starving and still find solace‬‬

 

Ramos:  one may suffer from hunger, or one may fast and therefore spiritually awakened by the absence of food‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪right, pain itself isn't always contextually bad

‬‬

Ramos:  ‪there is information in pain

 

such as, I have not eaten in three days

 

suffering is something entirely different

 

suffering is the narratives we create around pain

 

these narratives are endless

 

Bradley:  ‪yes and they usually involve the relinquishing of power‬‬

such as, someone else caused the pain

 

Ramos:  ‪absolutely‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪the bodies in my city painting‬‬

 

were placed there

 

they are collectively suffering

 

and despite their proximity, there is no love

 

there is no understanding

 

they each are in their own private hell

 

Ramos:  ‪how is that not a reflection of the world as it functions today?‬‬

 

Bradley:  ‪it is‬‬