Ry David Bradley

Myths of the Near Future

Ry David Bradley’s hypnotic, post-internet paintings meld the physical and the virtual — while proving that digital-age trickery can be a conduit to the real.

By Kim Brockett MAY 2016

The last two decades have seen the launch of online platforms such as Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr. It has also seen the term ‘INTERNET’ shrink to ‘Internet’, and shrink again to ‘internet’ as it becomes a presence that is increasingly familiar and omniscient.

It didn’t take long for the internet to become an important resource for artists, with early adopters like VVORK (now defunct but archived on Rhizome) and Contemporary Art Daily compiling near infinite scrolls of exhibition documentation. During a period in which blogging was text-heavy and diaristic in format, these blogs were the online version of the white cube gallery, their clean backgrounds accompanied by only the most necessary details.

London-based Australian artist Ry David Bradley started PAINTED, ETC (PE) in 2009, a blog he summarises as simply being “something just for me — a place to save all of my links.” PE quickly became a valuable resource for contemporary painting in an era that predated record-breaking auctions, Zombie Formalism and Stefan Simchowitz, and when the concept of ‘post internet’ was still nascent.

Blogs like PE assemble endless images, allowing viewers to passively scroll past until their attention is momentarily captured. In the instance of VVORK, it diligently categorised each post according to an index system, which was fashionably presented as a word cloud (where popular categories appear larger). In the seven years of VVORK’s existence between 2006 and 2012, categories like ‘2009’, ‘plants’ and ‘gradient’ stand out, transforming it into a time capsule — a slice of internet history. While this organisation makes sifting through ... Subscribe to read this article in full

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