Perfect Empathy

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our second solo exhibition with New York based artist Slater Bradley. Born and educated in California (University of California at Los Angeles), Bradley has exhibited extensively internationally; a selection of the artist’s solo museum exhibitions includes the Frans Hals Museum, the Netherlands, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St Louis, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, New York.

Slater Bradley gained early renown for a series of film and photographic works known collectively as The Doppelganger Trilogy. While Bradley produced a considerable body of successful work outside this series, the Trilogy combined the artist’s formal and personal interests in imagery culled from pop and sub-popular culture in a manner that appealed to a broad audience; the culmination of which was Bradley’s solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, at the early age of 30. While the Trilogy channeled celebrity – Bradley’s person re-presented in the media and various artworks through the image of his collaborator/doppelganger Benjamin Brock, or in a series of double-mediated portraits – those of Brock as Bradley as one of various doomed celebrities (Ian Curtis of the band Joy Division, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana or Michael Jackson) in various film and photographic works – Bradley’s most recent body of work finds the artist in a return to a still-mediated, yet less distanced form.

Perfect Empathy consists of a series of painted photographic prints, images of nude female models posed, photographed and subsequently painted. Bradley has then drawn on each print with silver paint. As a follow-up to Bradley’s recent project of recycled celebrity (a series of photographs from the artist’s archive painted in gold) Perfect Empathy draws upon the element of identification that exists between an idol and an audience – in this case a coterie of young women and Bradley himself. Eschewing a doppelganger, the new series remains within the realm of mediated self-portraiture, though moves closer towards the realization of a self-generated, general self identification.