let’s be clear.

i don’t consider brad bamford to be a hyper-realist painter.

i know that’s ridiculous.

because his paintings are studies in recreation. recreations of recreations, if you will. first the camera reproduces the reality in front of it. then bamford’s paintbrush reproduces sections of the photograph.

the time and care is that of a hyper-realist. the desire, when you are standing in front of one of his pieces to pull at the curled paper. or scratch at the bit that’s just hanging on. is very much that of a hyper-realist piece.

so why am i so fervent in my belief that he does not stand amongst the likes of steve mills or cindy rizza?

perhaps it’s best to refer to the artists show notes for – The Map Is Not the Territory (currently viewing at Katie + Gunner Gallery):

The paintings reference digital photos he has taken and are titled according to the place and time that the source image was created. They are both archaeological sites, full of fragments of information, as well as time capsules, capturing the interests, events and graphic design of the moment and culture they represent. The work examines the conceptual relationship between an object and its visual representation in our digital culture.

and my own notes from the same show :

there’s a point 

when you get a tattoo

(when the inking is done)

that the artist 

takes a towel

and wipes 

the excess 


it’s a mixture 

of blood 

and ink.

a bit of 

your past.

a bit of 

your present.

a bit of

your person.

somewhere between the two, is where bamford stands – not quite tattoo artist. not quite painter.

to me, he is a contemporary cartographer.

painting maps of our world.

city by city.

moment by moment.

ever reflecting our cultural landscape.

Brad Bamford – The Map Is Not the Territory is on view until June 30th at Katie + Gunner Gallery.

(shown at top – paris, july 16, 2014 12:01 pm no. 1 and paris, july 16, 2014 12:01 pm no. 2)