When it comes to artists who explore how digital art influences visual art, Ry David Bradley is often at the heart of the discussion. He is also known for founding PAINTED ETC. a website with a growing reputation that explores how digital technologies and representations influence and transform the nature and role of art in our society. Ry David Bradley likes to explore the boundary between the material and the digital, confusing the viewer, who no longer knows what he is looking at.
The two works you see here, Cavia Concolor (2021) and Naevia Clement (2022), are almost trompe l’oeil: they look like paintings, yet they are digital representations that Bradley weaves together using acrylic threads. And although the renderings appear black and white, these modern tapestries are actually woven with colored threads. Technology and tradition merge, and the audience is no longer certain of what they are looking at. These faces are reminiscent of the mad visions of German expressionist painters Ludwig Meidner and George Baselitz, whom both painted figures tortured by their time. If the threads of color represent the red-green-blue pixels of our screens, though capable of offering an infinity of colors, the result is only darkness, unease, and pain. Our digital age promised us grandiose spectacles, ever greater emancipating freedom, the end of boredom, and eternal entertainment, but these great fireworks turned out to be nothing more than vulgar flashes in the pan. The internet, remote communication, and fast travel promised us more connection, but we still find ourselves more alone than ever, in front of our deepest anxieties.