25.06.2010 to 30.09.2010
Brad Downey (USA)
LEISURE & OUTDOOR, ART
• Days with event
Philipp Teuchtler is one of Vienna\'s best-known and most controversial Street Art collectors. Nobody, it can be safely said, has accumulated as many pieces of \"art from the streets\" as Teuchtler - and often without having to pay for them. Yet the commercial value of things is not what he is interested in, as many of the collected works items are found objects created by anonymous artists, and since their authorship can only be guessed at, they are essentially monetarily valueless as works of art. Teuchtler\'s interest lies in preserving these works; his entire apartment overflows with art rescued from obliteration. His critics, however, point out that it is an outrage to gather art made for the street for personal gratification. This debate, however, is one that has raged for a long time in the corners of the Street Art world.
In the spring of 2010, artist Brad Downey was a guest of the residency program of quartier21. Sydney Ogidan, curator of the Vienna Street Art Festival, made his acquaintance and introduced him to Teuchtler. Downey was shown Teuchtler\'s collection of Street Art, including its unsigned and anonymous works, and was inspired to create a unique work of his own. For this work, Teuchtler gave access to twelve of these unsigned works from his collection to Brad Downey, who in turn dated and then signed each work with his own name.
In this way the art-object, reclaimed from the street, is once again reclaimed by the artist Brad Downey. The consequences are twofold. Firstly, the anonymous found items, valueless to the art market, are almost alchemically converted into valuable original Brad Downey artworks, thus also increasing the monetary value of Teuchtler\'s collection. Secondly, Downey offers the collector and original authors of the work a gift. A ‘gift\' in its English meaning, and also in the German meaning of das Gift, that is, a poison or venom, in this case one that removes the anonymous original author of the unsigned artworks, and as such even \"kills\" whatever the intent was that the artist had for these now re-appropriated artworks.
Brad Downey, born in 1980 in Kentucky, U.S.A., studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and film at the Pratt Institute, New York. His art unites the media of film, painting, installation art, sculpture and performance. His work reveals hidden mechanisms of the social order by means of humorous manipulation, disassociation and misappropriation, as he tries to raise awareness of forms of social control and even to challenge them head-on.