Artist in Residence – Bradley Theodore
January through June 2022
Based between Miami Beach and New York City, Bradley Theodore is a multidisciplinary artist whose iconoclastic approach to art can be found internationally, from 10-foot murals on the streets of New York, Tokyo, and Milan, to sold out solo exhibitions in London. With roots in graphic design, Theodore began his artistic career adorning the streets of New York City with vibrant, chromatic murals of skeleton crews depicting contemporary pop culture and fashion “royalty.” The artist has become a staple in the art and fashion scene across the globe.
Bradley Theodore (b. 1973, Turks and Caicos) was raised in Miami before making New York his home. His earliest gravitation towards visual art and design began with a series of formative apprenticeships in digital advertising and graphic campaign production before studying at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Theodore moved to San Francisco for a short period of time before moving back to New York where his art career took off after getting involved in the street art scene of lower Manhattan. He’s now known to jet set from Miami to New York, to London and Tokyo and back, for public art engagements and gallery viewings alike.
Theodore utilizes imagery and colors that highlight the fleeting fame and omnipresent mortality that are often obscured in celebrity culture, which he makes accessible by exposing the inner structure of known icons. Particularly focused on depicting “royalty” in this manner, from Queen Elizabeth and George Washington to Theodore’s arguably most famous portraits of fashion giants Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld, viewers are invited to reflect on life, death, and the beauty within – and to ruminate upon this concept of memento mori. Though Theodore’s subjects are recognizable by their accessories and outer adornments, his unique fusion of fashion, art and the human condition transcends vanity and status and settles instead in a space of contemplation and stillness.
Vogue’s International Editor Suzy Menkes refers to his work as “Banksy meets Basquiat.” More typically beginning with a black canvas, Theodore’s work extends the same joyful contemplation of mortality found in Dias de los Muertos traditions, and applies this to celebrity and tastemaker culture.
Instead of invoking morbid connotations, Theodores’ rendering of skeletonized versions of famous figures seeks to investigate the deeper meaning of life. Stripping off expertly curated exteriors in favor of celebrating not just status achieved in life, but the exploration of what it means to be alive. Theodore’s bright, happy palette is revelatory in and of itself – color, like fashion, celebrity and mortality, as a cross-cultural, and internationally celebrated aspect to the human condition. Using these bright hues atop a black canvas magnifies the concept of turning icons inside out, starting from darkness and investigating the sparks of color and life his subjects exude, imploring color, life and emotion.
In addition to numerous sold out solo exhibitions worldwide, several iconic brand collaborations including Rolls Royce, Puma, Moleskine and the 2016 US Open (of which he was named the official artist), Theodore was the subject of independent film “Becoming: Bradley Theodore” which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Even more notably, Google named Theodore virtual reality artist in residence where he employed the tech giant’s Tilt Brush tool to create art in another dimension and invite viewers to experience his creations in a more intimate way. Bradley Theodore’s large-scale murals can be seen throughout New York’s Lower East Side as well as in London, Hong Kong, and Paris. He’s painted the likes of Kate Moss, Frida Kahlo, and Cara Delavigne. Despite his large celebrity following, with named collectors including Alyssa Milano, Iris Apfel, Bryan Cranston, and Salma Hayek, Theodore strives to remain humble and focused on his top priority – painting.
In partnership with Artemest
Artemest, the leading online marketplace for handmade luxury products made in Italy, was founded in 2015 by jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno and manager Marco Credendino. Established to celebrate Italian craftsmanship, Artemest offers the unique opportunity to shop contemporary design in the categories of furniture, home décor, lighting and lifestyle. The selection of over 55,000 products is handmade by 1,300+ of the most representative Italian artisans and designers. Today, Artemest is based in Italy (Milan) and the United States (New York). The company ships to more than 70 countries around the world and has become the leading marketplace for the export of luxury made in Italy to North America and APAC.