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Posted inArt

An American Doing Things

BERLIN — Through a quaint garden off the back porch of the main gallery of Haus am Lützowplatz is a small basement gallery filled with video works, handwritten texts, props from performances, sculpture, and other memorabilia by the Louisville-born, Berlin-based artist Brad Downey.

Posted inBooks

Wisdom Testicles and the Messy Process of Collaboration

At first glance, the exterior of Wisdom Testicles, a collection of collaborative works on paper by three artistic schoolmates, looks to be a relatively unassuming artist book. Setting aside its confusing title for a moment, it has the well-crafted and unique appearance of a handmade book. Smallish in size and easy to page through, Coptic bound with an open spine, it has raw, unfinished covers made of gray speckled bookboard. The cover of the book, however, on which a anatomical looking drawing of male genitalia has been printed, is provocative enough to immediately dispel any preconceived notions about the book’s modest appearance. The non sequitur nature of the title and cover succeeds in catching your attention, raising a certain amount of curiosity about what lies between the covers.

Posted inArt

Corporate Media Fictions: Brad Downey and Banksy

Just over two weeks ago, a story about an excavated Banksy in Berlin ricocheted across the global media. Most of the coverage featured closely cropped smiley faced riot police and the name “Banksy” screamed in the media coverage. From the tone of the coverage and the emphasis on the discovery of a lost Banksy most people probably assumed it was another case of an opportunist commercial gallery swiping a street art work and displaying it in order to make a potential profit. What many people — and news outlets — didn’t realize was that the glimpse of the Banksy was only part of a much larger work by artist Brad Downey.