I call the colored markings on my paintings “memories”.
The origins of these colorations started in the late nineties. I began to notice an issue that faces many artists as their work becomes more about craft than the passion that originally inspired them.
In 1998 I did a residency at AUROBORA PRESS in San Francisco, California. With their master printer, I did things that, archivally speaking, should not be done. Beautiful works were created within these "mistakes". It was at this time I learned not to correct or cover up but rather allow all the “voices” to show, understanding that this process of welcoming perceived errors is essential to hold the intimate and honest narrative within the work. This honesty I treasure in life. Whether in my work or in my personal relationships, I attempt to acknowledge and embrace the paths, the imperfections, the pains and efforts necessary to create something beautiful. Within my paintings I consciously began to leave the smudges and marks that naturally occurred as evidences of the paths taken. I no longer strove for “perfect” works, but rather I wanted to present authentic memories of history and time.
By 2005 my landscapes had become softer and more intimate. My focus turned to memories and how truths are held. Each of us holds our identities close. We secure ourselves within structures. I see the marks as emotional memories that never connected – they exist to challenge and inform our perceptions of self.
Brad Durham was born in San Francisco California in 1952. Exposed early on to the vibrant Bay Area Figurative Movement, artist such as David Park, Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud fueled his passion to be an artist.
In 1972 Durham attended Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles to study painting and then Humboldt State to study philosophy. It was here that he developed his thoughts about aesthetics.
Durham’s first large studio was in San Diego where he developed his skills and visual language. In 1985 Durham would move to the downtown Los Angeles loft district.
If San Diego was his place for establishing commitment, Los Angeles was where it solidified. Shortly after arriving Howard Fox from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art invited Durham to participate in the 1987 international exhibition titled AVANT-GARDE IN THE EIGHTIES The exposure from this show launched Durham’s career in Los Angeles and nationally. A year latter he was asked to return to Art Center College of Design as a full time instructor, a position he held for ten years.
In his 32 year career, Durham has had 47 solo exhibitions and participated in over 140 group shows nationally. During this time he has never swayed from his focus – “to create ideas of a purposeful and sensual dialogue; a meditation on sublimity and grace.”Durham currently lives and works Minneapolis Minnesota.