Brad Downey – Tour de force

brad downey - artotale

Pour ceux qui comprennent le français et qui ont du mal avec mon anglais approximatif,
je vous recommande la version en français en bas de page.

I’ve been a bit disappointed when discovering new Brad Downey piece on Just daily photo report for ARTotale.
What? Is it really finished? A giant painted Mac Donald’s ad!? No humoristic slogan? No sabotage by rats hanging around? No drips ?

brad downey 1

What is this piece about? Contrary to the people of Lüneburg we know Brad Downey. Is it not a real ad.
Brad, the University or the Festival organisation haven’t been paid by McD.
So is it to bring up the evil power of McD? Does it mean sponsoring a university or a soccer team is the same thing? Is taking money from private companies for education wrong?

brad downey 2

And I finally realised that –ironically- a commercial mural can finally be much more controversial & radical than a wall painted by a graffiti artist who is supposed to be an urban-rebel…!

brad downey - Mc Donald's

I contacted Brad Downey and I asked him a couple of questions:

Do the university and students enjoyed/understood your work?

Brad Downey: I have not heard any response from the university staff. So, I suspect they do not approve. Maybe they feel a bit cheated as I did not tell them what I wanted to paint. I maintained that my work would be created spontaneously.

The university students understood my work very well. I was very worried that the painting would be misunderstood by the students and my fellow artists. The University is undergoing a process of “Rebranding”. To my understanding, Leuphana has recently paid a large sum of money to design a new logo, name, and concept for the whole Universiy. Part of an effort to raise student fees. One student explained to me that it has been referred to internally as an Americanization of the old German school. And many of the students are unhappy about this. Some have made their own films addressing this same issue. Our ARTtotale, street art project, seems to be a part of this re-branding.

Do you think the wall will last long?

B.D.: I hope so. I think it’s a good work.

Have you already received any reaction from Mc Donald yet?

B.D: This work has nothing really to do with McD. I just wanted to insert “random logo with power.” It could have been any well know logo. I feel that many of the so called “street artists” do this anyways. They travel the world painting logos. So, I thought I should show up and just paint any logo.

Anything else?

B.D.: Special thanks to the The Wa (he helped paint the whole thing.)

brad downey

More about Brad Downey on ekosystem : interview [summer 2008]
All the photos by JUST (cc)

et en Français:


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Part of the Rebellion #1 – Flying Förtress by C100

C100 published 5 years ago; “The art of Rebellion“,
the 1st book about the so-called “street-art scene” of the early 00’s.
He’s back with a new book collection…

“Part Of The Rebellion: Flying Fortress” seems to be the 1st book of a new collection.
Why have you choosen Flying Fortress for this 1st book ?

First, he is a good friend of mine – we know each other since we started with traditional graffiti in ’89 or so.
We both got into street art again in 2000 after a few less active graffiti years and did some stuff together.
And: his art is perfect to introduce the concept of the book to the audience as he both still works on the streets, exhibits in galleries  and also does commercial work.
Also, he is well known worldwide and stands for good quality so there is a chance people probably buy the book :-)
Do you already have selected the next artists for the future books ?
Yes we have, but some aren’t 100% confirmed so I can’t tell you more at the moment. Currently I’m working on #2 with Dave the Chimp – it’s a honor for me as I really love his work.
I can guarantee that people will be stoked about his new works! It’s coming out in Spring 09 and after that #3 will be out in Summer 09…
We planned to bring out 3 books per year.
Does the book company wait to see if FF book is a best-seller before
launching a 2nd book ?

No we immediately started working on #2. The book company are personal friends of mine, we know each other from the graffiti days in the early 90s.
They are totally into it – they don’t do it only for the money, so do I. We just think this is the perfect strike against all those cheap but low quality books that are thrown on the market where one guy just walks through i.e. Berlin or London – takes a few photos and doesn’t even care about any artist credits or what he is photographing…

We want to do proper art books to show that this is a true art form.

Art of Rebellion was released about 5 years ago now. Do the street-art
scene has changed a lot according to you ? Is it better now than it used
to be ?
Hmm. that’s a difficult question – it definitely has changed both in a good and bad way.
There are artists who now can make a living out of their art, which I think is a great thing.
The are great exhibitions, etc.
I think the quality level  is still good & even progressing! Sometimes there are still works/ideas/concepts that totally suprise me – that’s when I think: Damn I wish I had had the idea ;-).
In the end I’m glad that the expected trend of street art wasn’t that big. There was a time when everyone was doing stickers and called himself an artist which was pretty lame –
luckily this calmed down. Nowadays, there is less street art to be found in the cities compared to 5 years ago, which is also due to new laws and cleaning programs (R.I.P Barcelona) but still you see good stuff every now and then. It’s all good!

Size : 15×18.8cm – Pages 128 – 14.90€ – Isbn: 978-3-939566-16-8 – English – Softcover

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