Nobody can know for sure what could be behind the finished works of Australian artist Brad Teodoruk. He has a flair for fashion, a gutsy bravura in dramatically altering a canvas with the flick of a wrist and a calm, gentle demeanor, resolve with deep consideration. There is a maturity to Brad and to his approach which demonstrates, all that exists is happening right now and there are no accidents. He is creating, collaborating and sharing his craft and people are gobbling up his art. He is a surging star from down under.   

Flavor for the Layer

There’s what you can see, and then there is the what is in the depths of the work. There may be a creature beneath the top acrylic layer of the lighthouse you see or a bird perched on a patch of white paint. Layers of fragmented images and words. Sometimes, there is a large cat (We will call him Brad), in all sorts of moods, that likes to make a partial or whole appearance. The cat can be spotted or striped or solid. He can be sleepy, or sad, or angry, growling or skittish surrounded by fragments of stratagem.  Lately, there have been beach balls and birds in play representing moods or moments.

When I first saw Brad’s work, I felt very connected to the color and curious juxtaposed capping off of something that wasn’t completely shown. Then I watched Brad paint and it is effervescent. The King of his canvas, he giveth and he taketh away. He is immersed in the immediate. There is a thought, and then it changes, or maybe it was meant to be that way, to begin with. His intent is to emulate art on walls in streets covered partially, painted over as if it was another day, another thought, another outcome. It then all merges together in beautiful sassy blues, shades of reds, washed out pinks and yellows or whites.

What I have observed of Brad in the months since we first spoke, is not only is he dedicated to his work, he is also a team player. There is a sincere kindness and kinship for other artists he works with and knows. He will spend days with someone else sedulously creating something that represents both styles and when the other artists aren’t there, he is back at his work alone, conceiving something new. Whether working in tandem or solo, his giving, stalwart nature are refreshing and inspiring.

Looking into his work, his life, and where he is going is exciting. He is working on the upcoming busy Spring and Fall with six shows from now until September in different galleries, I seem to have gotten him at just the right moment. Here’s what he shared with Portray.

Where do you live and where do you create your work?

BT- I currently live and work in Sydney, Australia.

What message does your work aim to convey?

PLASTIC CROWN 2018

BT- The message is loud and clear, my work says ‘Fuck You!’ to how I feel on the inside. It’s really quite personal in that regard. This approach would/should convey playfulness, ambiguity, tradition, history, resistance, love and hate, and above all a vibe – like listening to The Kinks on the radio or something. I make the work for me, first and foremost, if other people like it then that’s a plus. I thought about it for a long time, if I’m going to put something into the world, it better be positive. Love is the greatest thing. I’m not a hippie, I’m a punk.

How do you cultivate a collector base?

BT-Mostly through Instagram and exhibitions. Social media is fascinating. I wish I didn’t use it, but really that’s how I cultivate a collector base. Thank you to all who have collected my work.

THE DRUM ROLLS AND THE BUTCHER DRINKS A GLASS OF FIRE
THE DRUM ROLLS AND THE BUTCHER DRINKS A GLASS OF FIRE
2018

Picking it up and starting again

What do you think is most notable about your work?

BT- Color and composition, without a doubt. Content is secondary.


When did you begin painting?

BT- I began painting in 2005 or 6. Drawing my whole life. I stopped painting for a long time, about a decade, and picked it back up in 2015.

Who/what motivated you when you started?

BT- When I was young it was my Dad who inspired me, he’s a painter/draftsman also (just not professionally). Then in high school, it was Andy Warhol. I made Pop Art (maybe I still do) throughout high school. Fast forward to a bad break up with my ex-fiancee, where I would throw all of my major work away upon leaving. The work went in the bin or out in the street for people to take away. This was around 2015 where I picked up painting again.

Where is the most exciting place your art has brought you?

BT- It’s exciting for me to be working and living in Sydney, but also on a personal note, it has allowed me to arrive at where I want to be in my life with who I am as a person. And ultimately that matters the most.

Where things are going

If you could have a show anywhere, where would your dream show be? Why?  Who would be there? 

NEW WORKS

BT- It kind of already happened when I showed at Robin Gibson Gallery in Sydney. Brett Whiteley showed there. In fact, I was in a group show with him there. Of course, though, the dream would be a show in New York or London but that will come in good time. The people who would be there would only be people who enjoy what I do. 

(LEFT) MOSQUITO- (RIGHT) ALONE IN AMERICA 2018

Have you shown your work in the US or Europe or Asia?

BT- Internationally, I have only shown work in Copenhagen. I am planning a solo show this November in Seoul, South Korea and am waiting for my invitation to show in the US. 

First Sale(s)

Do you remember to whom you sold your first painting?

BT- I do! It was a collector from Norway who bought three works. 

What excites you the most about the creative process?

BT- Probably the exploration between consciousness and subconsciousness or the game of chess that takes place. Making a move, seeing how it plays out. Having a laugh and being expressive or feeling defeat and attacking the canvas one more time before you call it a day. The transcendence that occurs to oneself when in the act of creating. There is magic happening. You’re in it, fully, you just don’t know it until you come out of it. That is the ultimate mindfulness when you allow yourself to give in to pure observation and attention to detail (if you want to).

PAINT CRACK THE SKY

If you could go back at any time in history and have an afternoon with any artist, who would it be, what would you do, and what would you want to learn from them?

BT- I’d probably just want to hang out with Andy Warhol in his factory and watch what he does. I wouldn’t say anything, I would just observe. There’s nothing he can teach me or that I would want to learn. Not from him, Picasso, Van Gogh or any other artist. They were all students of art just as I am. We are learning from art. We are learning about ourselves. Whatever formal techniques there are to learn, I will learn in time, on my own accord. If another artist taught me anything about art, I would become a copy of them and that’s really not what I’m about. That’s also one of the things that excites me most about art or the creative process. Discovering it for yourself.

I happen to be a fan of your fashion, does it influence your work? 

BT-Thank you. I wouldn’t say it influences my work but it definitely falls under the umbrella of expressionism and the need for wanting to express myself.

What do you think the social function of art is? 

BT- I really think the social function of art is, connection. The connection between the work itself and the viewer is art in itself. It can create controversy, make society question, it can bring us joy and pleasure also. It can certainly bring awareness politically to what’s happening in the world around us and this is really important to bring people together (connection). 

What are your goals for this year? 

BT-I have a solo show in Sydney in August, an art fair in June in Seoul as well as a solo show in Seoul in November. Maybe there’s a group show or two this year. Then off to Europe in September to explore where I might relocate to for 2020. And I plan to launch my fashion label this year also.

Tell me about painting big cats on blue backgrounds, and how that makes you feel inside?

Brad in his exhibit “Paint Crack the Sky

BT- The leopards featured in my paintings are self- portraits. They are depicted as being fearful or tired which is the case for me most of the time, unfortunately. My work is mostly about contrasts or opposites, so the blue that I use just happens to be the most exciting color for me. Sometimes when I’m painting with this particular blue I am laughing with joy. I am in ecstasy!

To see More of Brad’s work you can go to www.bradteodoruk.com

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