Author: Charlotte Bearn

Spotlight on Brad Faine

Faine’s latest conceptual works create an interplay between visual and textual layers of meaning and are structured around complex geometric layers of words, numbers, images and symbols that reflect their underlying philosophy. In each work Brad Faine displays a huge dose of both visual and linguistic wit, as well as taking a caustic swipe at the underbelly of the English establishment.

Art Malarkey is divided up into a chequerboard structure, whose squares contain layered sections from images of modern masterpieces by abstract artists such as Rothko, Mondrian and Pollock. These images are placed over an underlying alphabet sequence that forms the basis for the composition. The top tier of meaning is delivered by another sequence of letters covering the whole pictorial space, spelling the names of famous artists. Faine creates a visual conundrum between the art images he quotes and the names that lie on top of them. The viewer is left to identify the images and then decipher the artist's names. The effect of the piece is to de-mystify the rarefied air of the upper echelons of the art world and have a bit of fun playing around with the modern masters.

Spotlight on Brad Faine | Image

Spotlight on Brad Faine | Image

Spotlight on Brad Faine | Image

Classic Malarkey expands on the themes and ideas explored in Art Malarkey again layering letters and images in a chequerboard format, to create a composition packed with information that challenges the viewer to unlock the text whilst also testing their knowledge of the old masters. Brand Faine’s skill as a contemporary artist, using modern geometric compositions and cutting-edge silkscreen techniques, is combined with the subject of old master paintings from Velasquez’s Rokeby Venus to David’s Death of Marat. Each square of the grid contains a letter, the alphabet winding around the composition in bold modern shades finished with a gloss glaze to give them emphasis. Each letter represents the surname of an old master, whose work can be found somewhere in the piece. The smaller letters also spell these names, and the viewer is challenged to find them all and reconcile them with the correct image, making Classic Malarkey an entertaining puzzle as well as a stunning piece of art.

Spotlight on Brad Faine | Image

The Red and The Black refers not only to the famous novel of the same name by Stendhal, but to the state of our bank accounts - making it particularly pertinent in the current climate. The composition is divided into a chequerboard of red and black numbered squares, reminiscent of the random layout of a roulette wheel and hinting at the risks we all take when investing our money. The squares are numbered, the figures' lack of colour making them stand out to the viewer, reminding us that the world of banking and finance all comes down to digits often featuring a large zero. Each square is also layered with a different currency symbol, reflecting the global nature of economics. Running across the whole composition are a sequence of letters, which upon closer examination can be seen to spell phrases such as 'extortionate expenses' and 'debased derivatives'. Finally Faine breaks up the gloss finish of the piece leaving matt another sequence of larger letters that fill a circular space in the centre of the image, spelling 'RUSSIAN ROULETTE'

 

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