A Fashionable Experience: Bradley Theodore Returns to NYC

By Marie Kloor & Dan Nielsen for Scrimshaw Collective

Last week we were fortunate enough to attend the opening of The Bradley Theodore Experience at ACA Galleries, at 529 West 20th Street, above the Highline. Bradley Theodore is known for creating art using fashion icons as inspiration, so it was only fitting that his exhibit debuted during NYC’s Fall Fashion Week. However, stepping out of the service elevator into the iconic Chelsea gallery, we were greeted not only by fashion types, but also by an eclectic crowd hailing from industries such as finance, media and tech - truly showing Bradley’s diverse group of fans.

It’s not a surprise that many New Yorkers feel a connection to Bradley’s art, it’s become prominent in the city, from street art on the Lower East Side to framed paintings in the Dream Downtown Hotel. It was over a year ago when we first visited Bradley’s collection in NYC, and we were excited to see over 30 of the artist’s new works from his hiatus overseas. The event also marked Bradley’s first ever solo exhibit in NYC, and ACA Galleries curated the experience flawlessly.

Upon arrival, we were served Chandon and Moet champagne out of colorful Bradley Theodore-inspired bottles and encouraged to take photos with the iconic Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld installation. The new additions were prominently displayed, showcasing the artist’s distinctly vibrant style, and derived inspiration from his recent international travels. Bradley’s iconic skeletal portraits featuring Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Moss and George Washington were also on display.

The real crowd pleaser however was a live Virtual Reality demonstration featuring Bradley himself. The demo showcased Bradley’s technique, as he painted on a screen using a 3-D headset and virtual color palette. Viewers were truly immersed in The Bradley Theodore Experience as they saw a painting created in front of their eyes. The demo represented ACA’s first ever interactive, VR environment as part of an exhibition and was yet another example of the gallery’s prowess for curating events.

After completing the VR demonstration, Bradley took it upon himself to meet and greet his fans. We had heard he often spends time discussing his art and inspiration with anyone bold enough to ask, but what unfolded was beyond expectation. He expressed words of encouragement to aspiring artists, took photos, and even gave out a few hugs. When our turn came to speak with him we asked about our favorite painting For the Love of Kate II featuring Kate Moss with a cigarette. Bradley observed the painting for a minute before answering, “It’s not the look that’s important...it’s her attitude”. Bradley followed up with a firm handshake, a healthy clap on the shoulder, and a very genuine “thank you for coming and supporting me.” As we were about to leave we saw him waiting in line at the open bar...at his own event; the ultimate sign of humility and respect.

Thank you to ACA Galleries for the invitation, and of course a huge thanks to Bradley Theodore. Please enjoy more shots of the exhibition below and make sure to check it out yourself at ACA Galleries in Chelsea.

Street Art in Flux

A street artist uses the city as the canvas for their creative expression.  New Yorker’s see this expression on the city walls, but rarely ever get to see these works being created.  Which is why, the opportunity to work with Flux Studios, bringing the creative process into the light of day, is a dream become reality for many graffiti artists.

Flux, a music-recording studio with a vintage heart and a modern vibe, recently gave six notable local street artists the opportunity to create and express on their blank canvas of a rooftop.  The artists in attendance were – Yes One, Such, Shiro, Oolaf, Phetus and Giz.  The roof is a small mecca of local street graffiti representing New York’s distinct beauty and love of art.  

Drawing Waves Unlike Any Other Day

A quintessential morning in SoHo: Grab an iced coffee to go at La Colombemake your way to Jack's Wife Freda for Brunch, and then stroll down the cobblestone streets to a unique museum, slightly off the beaten path, called The Drawing Center.

The Drawing Center chooses artists to explore the medium of drawing as primary, dynamic, and relevant ways to discover different cultures, inspirations, and unique themes.  Scrimshaw Collective ventured to The Drawing Center for its prime exhibit in "The Lab," to see Robin Rhode's Drawing Waves.

Robin Rhode is a South-African born, Berlin-based artist focusing on stop-action photography while combining drawing with elements of real life.  The exhibit focuses on two of Rhode's pieces, Breaking Waves and Paries Pictus - Draw the Waves.  

Breaking Waves focuses on a boy carving through the surf of an illusionistic ocean, painted onto a city wall.  

Breaking Waves - Robin Rhode

Paries Pictus-Draw the Waves is an interactive piece where children from Manhattan's PS 42 Benjamin Altman School and PS 130 Hernando DeSoto School were able to draw their idea of waves using custom made oil crayons, as an act of graffiti.  Rhode's hoped idea of combining the silhouettes of 17th-century mercantile ships and the graffiti drawings of the children would engage urban youths in history while promoting imagination and creativity.  

Robin Rhode's Drawing Waves exhibit at The Drawing Center is open until August 30th.  The exhibit is fascinating but please make sure to explore the rest of the museum.  For those who don't wish to spend an entire day looking at paintings, don't fret!  The Drawing Center has a modern look with two main spaces featuring multiple interactive pieces chosen by the museum's curators.  The Drawing Center has a cool vibe and is a unique staple of the SoHo art scene.  

Art Miami NYC: A Meteoric Rise

Art Miami New York:

Imagine that you’re surrounded by the world’s most prestigious contemporary and modern art. International collectors are showing off their prized possessions as artists blend in with the crowd, only visible if you really know who you’re looking for.   

This was the scene at the second installment of Art Miami New York.  It was a sprawling display of art in multiple mediums, ranging from paintings to photography, street art to sculptures.  The sheer quantity of notable artists was truly impressive. While Banksy was clearly the crowd favorite, the immense talent at each gallery’s station was remarkable. 

While some art doesn’t always resonate with the viewer, you can’t help but respect the time and the craft that goes into the art hanging on the walls.  And while there are the onlookers who walk by what seem like simple paintings saying, “I could do that,” there are also those who understand the passion that go into every brush stroke or click of the camera. 

At least one thing about Art Miami New York wasn’t interpretive: the meteoric rise of contemporary and modern art.  Many of the most coveted pieces at the show sold for astronomically high prices, as most of the crowd at Art Miami New York were wealthy individuals expecting they’d purchased the next big thing.

But, once you got past investors, you could talk on a personal level with the artists and collectors.  This is how one should approach new art - genuinely show interest in the artist’s work, appreciate their passion and authenticity, and be open to learning from those who spend their time and effort trying to find common ground between the piece and the viewer while showing a genuine voice amid the noise. 

Art Miami New York was a massive success in promoting the originality, newness, and the genius of the contemporary and modern art world.  Three gallery owners, who really embodied this vision and spoke eloquently of their featured artists, were the Sponder Gallery, Contessa Gallery, and the Joerg Heitsch Gallery.  Some of their major works of art are shown below.  Featured at the Sponder Gallery was photographer Michael Halsband, who will be highlighted on Scrimshaw Collective at a point in the near future.