IMAGES OF EXPANSION
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“From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a box already built for us to fit inside. Our umbilical cord never seems to be severed; we only find new needs to fill. If we disconnected and severed our attachments, would we shatter our confinements and expand beyond our shell? Would the world look different? Would we recognize ourselves? Are we the box that we are inside, and to be authentically ‘un-contained’ would we still be able to exist? This is the irony of containment. As long as we don’t push on the walls of our surroundings, we may never know how strong we really are.” PAIGE BRADLEY
I conceived of this piece when I first moved to Manhattan. I was a bit startled by the power of the curators and the critics and how they all had an anti-figure slant on what they deemed show-worthy. So many of these people felt like everything figurative had already been done, and real art was about being a “Visionary” rather than just showing ability, accuracy or general talent. Thus, the figure had generally disappeared from galleries, museums, important collections, art fairs and other shows. The few of us that were left had no place to exhibit and our voice was not being heard. Many figurative sculptors started teaching, as that was all they could do.
If I wanted to stay in the fine art field, I knew I had to join my contemporaries and make ‘contemporary’ art. I knew that it was time to let go of all the finely tuned skills I had acquired over the years, and just trust in the process of making art. The art world was telling me I had to break down my foundation, let my walls crumble, expose myself completely, and from there I will find the true essence of what I needed to say.
So, literally, I took a perfectly good (wax) sculpture– a piece I had sculpted with precision over several months– an image of a woman meditating in the lotus position, and just dropped it on the floor. I destroyed what I made. I was letting it all go. It was scary. It shattered into so many pieces. My first feeling was, “what have I done?!” Then, I trusted it would all come together like I envisioned.
We cast all the pieces in bronze and assembled the pieces so they floated apart from one another. Then I brought in a lighting specialist and we built a crazy lighting system to make it glow from within. It turned out even better than I thought. And the best is that the image of “Expansion” means so much to so many who see it. I get letters every day! I feel like I really did my job successfully!
From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a box already built for us to fit inside. Our umbilical cord never seems to be severed; we only find new needs to fill.
If we disconnected and severed our attachments, would we shatter our confinements and expand beyond our shell?
Would the world look different? Would we recognize ourselves?
Are we the box that we are inside, and to be authentically ‘un-contained’ would we still be able to exist?
This is the irony of containment. As long as we don’t push on the walls of our surroundings, we may never know how strong we really are.
Return to GETTING EXPANSION BACK TO BROOKLYN
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World-acclaimed figurative sculptor announces her Solo Exhibition launching on July 19 at Classic Art Gallery, Carmel – CA.
PRESS RELEASE, July 10 2014
Paige Bradley, a Carmel native sculptor known for high standards of achievement in the world of figurative sculpture, will exhibit her latest sculptures and drawings at Classic Art Gallery from July 19th – August 18th 2014.
A selection of her most recent works will be premiered at the show. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Saturday, July 19 from 5:00-8:00 at Classic Art Gallery, Sixth and San Carlos, Carmel.
The exhibition, (Bradley’s first solo exhibition in four years and her seventh since joining the gallery in 1996) explores personal issues of isolation and connection, intimacy, and identity through the figure.
The event is a celebration on many levels; it is Paige’s first retrospective, marking 20 years in sculpture, and the launch of her first book: “Stretching Boundaries”.
“As a young girl, I was walking down San Carlos Street in Carmel when I looked into a gallery window and saw a figurative bronze sculpture. I thought, “I can do that!” Thirty-something years later, I am having my most important show yet– on the very same street. I am so grateful for all my supporters making this possible “ says Bradley.
More about Paige Bradley
Paige Bradley’s work is collected and has been exhibited in many cities around the world such as: Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, London, Vienna, Miami, Houston, Santa Fe, Carmel….
About Classic Art Gallery
Established in 1992, Classic Art Gallery holds one of the most complete and valuable collection of original fine art in the country. Jovan and Sanya Micovic, the owners of Classic Art Gallery, who gave Paige her first gallery opportunity, have since moved into a beautiful new gallery space in Carmel. Paige Bradley is one of their premiere artists, and you can view her work at any of their three locations: Ocean and Dolores, Sixth and San Carlos, or El Paseo in Palm Desert.
>> For more information about Paige and her work, please contact Leo Schmid: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE – London, 26 June 2014
Award-winning sculptor Paige Bradley has selected three of her sculptures to take part in the prestigious Henley Festival in Henley-on-Thames (UK) on 9-13 July 2014, including Expansion , the piece that made her famous.
“Music. Art. Summer nights. Great food and wine. Boats on the River with fireworks overhead. Black ties and evening gowns. What is not to LOVE about the Henley Festival? It is the ultimate celebration of British Summer. I am excited to have my sculptures upon the lawn during this fantastic event. It is a great honor to be a participant and I will enjoy every minute!” says Bradley.
“From my point of view, the art and sculpture we have on site is one of the things that sets the Henley Festival apart from pretty much any other event you can name – and when you have the opportunity to show the kind of work Paige is producing, I know I can be wholly confident that we have the ingredients we need to create a truly special event” says Stewart Collins, Artistic Director at Henley Festival.
About Henley Festival
Henley Festival is one of the biggest and best-loved music and arts festivals in the UK. Its unquestionable edge of elegance, extraordinary atmosphere and attention to detail sets it leagues apart from the rest of the festival calendar.
A magical annual event etched in the diaries and imaginations of those in the know, Henley Festival is an exclusive pass to five nights of unrivaled revelry. It takes place the week after the Henley Regatta.
About Paige Bradley
Paige Bradley is celebrating 20 years of sculpture this year. She will further celebrate with a Solo Show in Carmel, California, USA launching on 19 July 2014 and with the release of her first catalogue: “Stretching Boundaries – Celebrating 20 years of Sculpture”
For more information please contact:
Leo Schmid I Marketing & Communications Director I Paige Bradley Fine Art
My name is Leo. I am a girl friend of Paige and work closely with her, mainly overseeing her communications and marketing.
Paige has asked me a couple of months ago to write a post to introduce myself and tell you my story: how I left France for London and much later how our paths crossed, as she thought this was inspiring.
I preferred to hold back as in my view, what was going on in “Mrs B ‘s” studio and in her mind was much more interesting to the rest of the world!
Today I feel compelled to” take the pen” as something exciting and magical is going to happen in the studio and I cannot help sharing the news!
It is a unique procedure for an artist to shatter their work in pieces but as Paige said, “the process of letting go of my obsession with perfection is how I learned to expand as an artist.”
Excited at the prospect of this taking place, my marketing brain switched on and in a couple of seconds I had made a whole event out of this process. We HAD to invite the press in the studio as well as galleries, curators, collectors, and the list went on. We HAD to capture that moment on film and share it on the net so everyone could live it.
The world and I fell in love with Expansion, so seeing the most crucial part of such breath-taking work take place, I thought, would be a most unique experience for sculpture professionals and amateurs.
Imagine admiring a beautifully accomplished piece of clay that after much hard work has taken the perfect shape. Imaging holding your breath as the sculpture comes crashing to the floor. Imagine the silence that follows which holds the uncertainty of its future: is the piece too shattered that it cannot be put back together? Or is okay? Can it make it back to life? Imagine watching Paige examining anxiously the shattered pieces on the floor…the nervous silence, the heavy seconds that follow a violent accident. And then imagine a Soul emerging from the chaos. Imagine Paige raising her head, looking around the room with a smile of relief: It has made it! All there is to do now is to give It its body back.
I don’t think there can be as emotional and as magical as a moment in the making of a piece of Art.
“I’m sorry” said Paige, “I really like to do this sort of thing in private”.
And that’s easy to understand. Like giving birth in a way, with all the excitement and uncertainties this event holds, one wants to keep this vulnerable, emotional and special moment for themselves, in privacy and in humility.
So we will share the happy news when Momentum will join us, after its metamorphosis.
I caught a fraud attempt on my work in extremis and would like to share details with you so that you can be more aware of suspicious requests should they come to you.
I have recently received an email from a so-called Frank Saylor ( email address: email@example.com ) inquiring about one of my paintings to offer to his wife.
The “client” said he was moving to the Philippines and needed the painting to be picked up by a shipper ASAP. He then “fed-exed” me a questionable check and asked me to pay the shipper directly via wire transfer. At this point I became highly suspicious and started some research on the internet.
I found a gallery had been victim of the same fraud attempt on them, and thank God they wrote about it on the net: http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=29394404
A couple of days later I received a similarly suspicious email from a so-called Larry Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you will not have to deal with such requests, and if you do, I hope my note will have been a little helpful.
Here are links on how to report a fraud:
All my best,
As a young female born in the twentieth century, I have become more and more saddened by the loss of feminine power that generations have seen within the last thousand years. I have grown up in a man’s world where women are finally coming to power so they can sit as equals with men. Only to find out that long ago we once held that same seat; we were appreciated, empowered and even considered sacred.
The female body is a miraculous creator of life. Even though the days of the red tents may be gone, we do not have to claim ignorance to our power to give life. Growing up with dirty jokes, instead of wise women that share their own experiences, has taken its toll on many generations of women.
I know too many women who are shamed by their age; stretching out their wrinkles, injecting themselves with anti-age poisons, and squeezing out every bit of proof of the experiences and wisdom they have earned.
I have lost a history that I never knew.
I have lost a power that I could have had.
I have lost a family that I should have felt.
We have repressed a magic source of nature just because we could put no measure to it. I hope we will become a society who no longer covers up who we are, but discovers who we were meant to be. We can learn to love our experiences and show them without shame. Growing wise and understanding that beauty does not lay in an elixir, but rather tapping into the energy nature has gifted us. It takes courage to be beautifully unique and powerfully real.
Hurrah to all the ballet companies and fashion designers that no longer celebrate the anorexic women. Hurrah to all of them for supporting a healthier female. Why can’t Sports Illustrated do the same? Don’t they know that their swimsuit edition has a great effect on how young women see their bodies?
They chose Barbie to celebrate the 50 years of S.I.’s 2014 swimsuit edition. There are a lot of iconic ’50’ year olds they could have put on the cover, instead of Barbie. I doubt Barbie has worked as hard as Christie Brinkley (60), Carol Alt (53), Elle Macpherson (49), Cindy Crawford (47), Linda Evangelista (48), Estelle Lefebure (47), or Kathy Ireland (50), Paulina Porizkova (48). Those are the women that we should be celebrating!
The Real Barbie would:
Thanks to Barbie, young girls all want to look like her and end up suffering from various eating disorders. The USA alone spends $11 billion a year on elective plastic surgery procedures. Over the past 15 years the number of cosmetic procedures has increased by 197%. (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery)
I am a Maker. I fiercely respect the Maker, and I try to be one as often as I can. It is the most fundamental of human activities– to work with our hands, creating something from nothing. When someone asks me who I am or what I do, I call myself an Artist. This is not better than a Maker– just a more complex form of one. Sometimes the Maker can go missing within the Artist, and then the Artist becomes hollow. They become political or symbolic and forget about the essence of creating.
As an Artist, like a Maker, I also put thought and aesthetic value into the things I make. Sometimes, when I do traditional works, there is more academic thought, compared to creating contemporary pieces, where the thought is more of a philosophical nature. Both are intense and valid. But as an Artist, it isn’t just about making the next beautiful object. Art must be an expression of my life experiences (either as voyeur or as participant) in this incredible journey. And if I can express it in a way that is honest and immediate, ingenious and unusual, rare and exceptional, then I will have stepped from the Maker into the Artist’s shoes.
Art doesn’t have to be beautiful, ugly, shocking nor sublime, but it should be Visionary. By ‘Visionary’ I mean a unique perspective that gives insight to the world, an emotion, or the human condition in a fresh, new way. I realize this might not be a profound definition of ART, but it is the clearest and most concise word I have been able to come up with.
When dealing with aesthetics of a Work, I find myself in the role of editor frequently. Sometimes the lack of conventional beauty is surprisingly attractive. As an Artist I choose when and how this takes place in the work. It has everything to do with subject-matter. Beauty is abundant in the natural world, but too much of it– left in its raw chaotic form– and we just pass beauty by. It doesn’t strike us as powerful because Art is not just about the object, but rather the object in comparison to its surroundings. As an Artist, things are not as simple as making an object visually pleasing. The environment around us is always a factor in Art’s success or failure. Art cannot be created in a vacuum.
Keep environment in mind, but not the audience. When creating Art, one must not think of the audience’s feelings because then it would be pleasing or performing instead of unravelling the truth. It is as important for an Artist NOT to think of the audience as it is for a writer to ignore censorship. Truth is paramount and this can only be found during internal dialogue. I have found that the more secluded and personal I am while I create, the more people relate to my Art. I create what needs to be made. I think about what needs to be said. I make an image that needs to be freed from the confines of the mind, to be seen in a real and tangible form. It is a reward when the audience understands and is moved by the finished piece. And it is only then the Artist and Audience meet.
I imagine that as a Maker, there is a precise pattern to follow and a feeling of patience through the process. I imagine a rhythm takes over as the Maker meticulously creates his craft. I have none such feeling, but often yearn for it. In contrast, as an Artist, I can say that ideas tend to burn holes inside of one’s gut until it gets out. It is the fervor and the fever that forces our hand. Mortality and time are our enemies, as our identities are measured by the creations of our visions. A lifetime is not nearly long enough to realize them all. Sometimes it causes me to shake in nervous excitement. Other times I find myself dancing around or having philosophical conversations with my sculptures. (Absurd, I know!)
We must realize we are standing on the shoulders of many before us, and this position as an Artist is one of great value and honor, and cannot be taken lightly. We are not entertainers or designers for an audience, but instead we speak for each and every one. We add significance, meaning and conversation that may not have taken place before. It’s a true labor of love, but it’s not easy. The job comes with a heavy burden and no guarantee of reward or notice. I believe it’s not something the Artist chooses–it seems we are born into it. When it gets to be too heavy to carry, I find the best thing to do is set it all down. Step back into the Maker’s shoes, and find the rhythm of creating again. That’s where the joy lies.
When I first inquired about an ad I’d seen at The Juilliard School, ‘looking for dancers to model for a sculptor’, my only intention was to put some extra cash in my pocket. I was truly unaware of the artistic journey I would be taking in the field of visual art with Paige Bradley. As a dancer and actor, to explore this whole other world of artistry and to be a key part in helping Paige produce stunning sculptures, has been nothing short of feeling creatively fulfilled. My dear friend Paige and I come from very different artistic backgrounds but working with her has made me realize that art itself, is a universal language.