Brad Gray touched down in South Africa after having travelled the world. Born in Germany in 1971 to English parents, he has since lived in Ireland, England, Saudi Arabia, Borneo, Colorado, Sardinia and Vietnam.
His interests are wide and his art is varied, reflecting a vast catalogue of experiences, with quirky characters in surreal landscapes.
On leaving school in 1988 he joined the Marines for two years before enrolling at Bristol Technical College on an illustration course in 1990. In 1992 he moved down to Cornwall and studied art for two more years at the Falmouth School of Art.
Brad was awarded Best Student of the Year from the Association of Illustrators in 1994 and started work as an illustrator based in the Covent Garden Art Market, London, working for clients including British Telecom, American Express, Sunday Times, Saturday Telegraph and EMI Records.
In 1999 he moved to Saudi Arabia with his wife for six years where they both taught art, using the school holidays to travel further.
Gripped by the natural beauty of South Africa, he decided to settle in the Eastern Cape. Brad now works as a full-time artist and is rapidly earning a reputation for his technically skilled, distinctive and striking scenes set around the world (imaginary places included). In 2003 he was one of 400 artists short-listed from 10,000 entrants for the ´Not the Turner Prize´ where his painting was one of only 12 works sold.
He has exhibited in Trent Read´s Knysna Art Gallery, the Stridom Gallery in George and the Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town, where his work is increasingly finding an admiring audience.
"My work often involves playing with themes evolving around the parallels which exist, the contradictions within us, the dark and light of existence, peace and violence, chaos and calm. I enjoy playing with words and sometimes weave humour through the narrative to convey the absurdity of a situation. The paintings range from small atmospheric oils on board to large, more involved and complex compositions. The smaller works focus primarily on texture, creating mood and movement through the use of strong tonal ranges and loose brushstrokes. The larger works are often theatrical in nature, depicting an array of quirky characters thrown together in a world not entirely of our own but with references to it. The works are rich in symbolism reflecting aspects of my own life and issues of a wider nature."SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & AWARDS:
2012 ´Thoughts in G Minor´, Solo Exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town
2012 Top 50 finalist in Donkey Art Prize, Milan, Italy
2012 National BP Portrait Award - nominated for Second Round, London
2011 Manifest International Painting Annual 2 Finalist, Cincinatti, Ohio (click here
to purchase the catalogue from the exhibition)
2011 ´Self Portrait 2011´, group exhibition, Rust en Vrede Gallery
2011 Charlatan Ink Prize semi-finalist, New York
2010 ´Viewpoints to the everyday´, group show, Miele Gallery, Johannesburg
2010 ‘Threshold’, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town
2009 ‘Sex, Power, Money’, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town
2008 SANLAM Vuleka Award finalist
2007 ‘Out of Bounds’, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town
2006 SANLAM Vuleka Award finalist. Best painting in oil, acrylic or watercolour award
2005 SASOL New Signatures finalist
Creative quarterly 22 Fine art winner, New York
Creative quarterly 23 Fine art winner, New York
´South´ magazine featured artist