David Bradley *1954
David Bradley was born in 1954 in Eureka, California, the son of a Norwegian father and a Native American mother. He spent the largest part of his childhood in Minneapolis and on the White Earth Ojibwe Reservation in Chippewa, Minnesota. He became interested in drawing when he was still a schoolboy. Bradley interrupted his studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota to spend two years as a development aid worker in Guatemala. After his return home he felt drawn to the Southwest. He enrolled at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe where he studied jewelry making, pottery, sculpture, painting, and graphic art. In the early 1990s he returned to the IAIA as a guest lecturer and artist-in-residence. He also studied at the University of Arizona and at the College of Santa Fe. Bradley’s works often feature political messages, and he loves to parody the Mona Lisa and other icons of popular culture and art history. In the course of his career, Bradley was awarded numerous prizes and his works are internationally exhibited.
I do use repeatedly certain symbols which you could call popular cultural iconography like the ‘American Gothic’, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Whistlers Mother’ […] Then you take it from that point of the familiar into the new and unfamiliar and you involve it in humorous or more complicated situations. I juxtapose things and just fit all these symbols, archetypical things, clichés in amongst my own creations. (David Bradley)