Admit it. You’ve done it and once you hold it in your hands, there is no resisting the temptation. Once you POP, you can’t stop. I am not talking about Pringles Potato Chips – it’s bubble wrap! The very object used in packaging and safeguarding items for shipping becomes a celebrated material in the talented hands of Bradley Hart with his current show What? Where? When? Why? How? at gallery nine5 in NOLITA. AF came to his reception last March 20th and saw that Hart wasted no time at all to impress everyone with his innovative art.
The sculptural paintings when you walk in demanded closer inspection and exploration. From his series “Wasted Paint & Created Waste” that the peeled off strips of acrylic paint, the honeycomb like netting of the same paint peeled off from the bubble wrap surface, and intricate cascade of the items considered as waste from his studio, resulted into a joyous cacophony of color and texture. Hart shared that it all started with setting eyes on the discarded sheet of bubble wrap which is a common sight when you unpack or pack artwork. From that, his sense of investigation, play and innovation with the material set off into a new trajectory to transform waste into a rich sumptuous material.
To offset the more abstract and sculptural pieces, another set of series called “Impressions” and “Injections” feature more representational figurative oeuvre done by injecting each bubble with paint as though pumping pixels to make portraits with the likes of the late Steve Jobs at the rear wall of the gallery and others. Painstaking “Injections” made with a syringe filled with paint and taking 150+ hours to complete a portrait seems OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but according to Hart, he gets a kick working with the material and the anticipation of forming the image. At times when the bubble wrap injections are completed, the drips of paint behind it leave “Impressions” that are as compelling and layered.
You can sense that Hart is on a roll and will keep injecting bubble wrap or peel acrylic strips to keep producing his own unique art. There is that unbound frivolity, intense thought, and passion to play that came through from the works. Do we even need to ask the question, why did Hart choose bubble wrap? Why waste time on such trivial things? When you can just play and see what develops then share it to the world. There’s nothing else better than that.
What? Where? When? Why? How? Works by Bradley Hart
On View: March 6 – April 5, 2013
Gallery Hours: Mon – Fri (11a-7p) Sat (12 -7 pm) & Sun (12–6 pm)
gallery nine5. 24 Spring Street. NYC, NY 10012
art review by: OscarA. Laluyan
art images from gallerynine5 courtesy of the artist
event photography by: Deukyun Hwang