New York-based artist Ryan Bradley is best known for his photo-realistic style as expressed through his intricate, pastel renderings of the female form, which are adorned and embellished through elaborately complex patterns and florals.
Born in 1979 in Stanwood, Washington, Bradley later moved to Baltimore to study painting, and received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2001. He earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 2003. Following graduation, Bradley worked as a production designer at a prominent fashion advertising agency. The hours that he spent meticulously retouching photographs—eliminating flaws and small imperfections to create a wholly fabricated image—later informed his present-day aesthetic of “hyper-perfectionism.”
Bradley’s work aims to invoke the instinct of Pareidolia, a phenomenon that represents our innate desire to recognize faces and forms through mere fragments of suggestion. Exploring unconventional uses of paper and pastel, he carves his delicate portraits in complex patterns that overlap, interlace, invert, mirror and subtract over each other, challenging the viewer’s eye to perceive the face that is both, at once, familiar and abstract.
Bradley‘s work has exhibited both nationally and internationally in various group shows and his first solo exhibition, *Pretty Party*, was held in the fall of 2009 in New York at Lyons Wier Gallery.
“Rembrandt Pastels are both the very first and very last pastel that I use on every single painting that I have made in my professional career. Their durability, palette, consistency and hardness are essential to achieving details that I could not otherwise. I absolutely would not be able to make the work that I create without Rembrandt Pastels.”