"I almost fell off the face of the world. But now I’m back.
And things got strange while I was gone away. And I don’t like it.
So this is a protest. Bring it all back. Put it right.
This work is a spell. The work immediate.
Bold strokes. Quick marks. Put everything in, take nothing out. No time to lose."
This September, Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to welcome UK artist David Bray back for his second solo with the gallery entitled The Return of the Returner. Bray is well known for transcribing psychoactive iconography through the lens of singular imagery with his unique DIY aesthetic. Creatively driven by his punk ethos, Bray utilizes basic drawing tools and found materials to explore the full spectrum of his inner fantasy world. The result is a striking combination of naïve art and wild imagination. Starkly woven within each piece is a virtually endless sense of mystery that begs for repeat viewings.
Return of the Returner marks a direct follow up to Bray's 2016 solo show, 'Amateur Occult Club'. Last year, the artist and his alter-ego, Georg Lubitzer, left the physical plane and journeyed to a mirrored world known as the 'Other'. In Return of the Returner, Bray has come hurdling back to a reality he no longer recognizes. As he digests this newly messed up world run by circus clowns in business suits, Bray finds himself grappling on multiple fronts. Medicated with alcohol and flailing in search of beauty, he strains to remember why he came back at all. Looking within, the artist finds renewed strength and gears up for the fight. The returner has now officially returned.
Bray chronicles his struggles and adventures the only way he knows how: through unmistakable work that represents a meeting ground between instinct and intent. Central to the latest collection is 'The Sun', a painting of a total eclipse set against a fiery orange background with the transcribe text 'Aint Gonna'. The text is a direct reference to the 1966 Walker Brothers song 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)'. Indeed, it feels like the world has turned to darkness. But conversely, the painting is a statement of protest. Bray is not going to sit by and watch everything fall apart. The fire is lit.
The opening reception for Return of the Returner will be held at Stephanie Chefas Projects on Friday, September 8th from 7-10pm. Stephanie Chefas Projects is located in Portland, Oregon at 305 SE 3rd Avenue on the second floor of the Urban Row building. The exhibition will be on view through September 30, 2017 and is free and open to the public.
ABOUT DAVID BRAY
Born in Dartford, Kent, in 1970, as a child David Bray would draw images of space travel, where he would depict himself and his friends visiting other Planets and Universes. As he grew older he began to explore a dark, egotistical fantasy world, which is still apparent in the work he makes today being influenced and inspired by a wide range of artists: from sculptor Allen Jones, comic artist Eric Stanton, erotic photography by Helmut Newton and Araki and paintings by Gustav Klimt and Alberto Vargas.
Using basic drawing tools, such as pens, pencils, and paper, Bray creates delicate and time-consuming drawings which explore emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy through his subject matter of the beautiful and erotic, but the unattainable female form. His compelling works reveal his lifetime love of drawing and a very active imagination taking the viewer into his dark, emotive world of fantasy. Bray has also had a successful commercial career since graduating in 1992 from Central St. Martins, in London with a degree in Graphic Design.