Alison Brady is not your ordinary artist. A New York based visionary, which hails from the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio, she appeals to her viewers by stirring in a touch of surprise and shock. Her artistic realm dwells somewhere between the real world and pure fantasy, drawing upon unconscious emotion, desires and sexual compulsions. Her color photography makes use of the grotesque, concentrating on anxiety, neurosis and loss of identity, with the depiction of middle-class “coziness” in the foreground. While exploring all these feelings, elements of eroticism, twisted humor and horror come into the spectrum. Her work is meant to be disturbing on a metaphorical level, combining two contradictory spheres – the beautiful and the destructive.
Last September 8th was not only Fashion’s Night Out in New York, but also the place to be for all respectable art lovers. The opening of Brady’s new exhibition, entitled Sincerely Yours, was celebrated with a reception graced by the artist and the release of her new book, Alison Brady Photography.
Within this exhibit, she strives to portray each and one of us’ traumas, whether of physical or mental nature. Traumas bring on hysteria which blocks our understanding of the world. Sigmund Freud, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle states,“Often times we tend to repeat a traumatic event over and over even until it becomes pleasurable.” Alison believes our mind has a tendency to repeat these traumatic events, in an attempt to better deal with them. They resurface in forms of dreams or simple hallucinations, process which transforms a normal picture into psychotic. The strangeness and ridicule factors transpire when all of Brady’s faces are buried in peculiar matters – spaghetti, animal inspired coveralls, grass or incomprehensible masks. Through the almost impossible body language and juxtapositions, your mind goes to work, wondering, maybe even giggling. The more poignant the image is, the more common the middle-class suburban background is: a rug, wallpaper, a chest drawer, a chair, a living room.
With her pitch black bob haircut and petite frame, Alison reveals her inspiration comes from everyday life; she does not intend to send out a particular message through her images; instead, they can be interpreted by each person as they wish. Emotion takes people in different places, bringing to mind unusual states of mind and sensations.
Her work has been featured in publications such as New York Arts Magazine, Time Out NY and The New York Times. Brady exhibits nationally as well as abroad and her work is honored to be part of Elton John’s collection and the West Collection. She was named one of the top emerging artists in the world by Saatchi Gallery.She holds A MFA in Photography Video and Related Media from The School of Visual Art.
“Ms. Brady’s work deals rather explicitly and hilariously with the female predicament,” Roberta Smith of The New York Times wrote of her 2009 exhibition An Uncertain Nature at the Massimo Audiello Gallery in New York.
For more information about the exhibit, please visit Hous Projects. The exhibit will run up until October 22nd.
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