CountyAnne Arundel County
Artist StatementIf I have any hope for what my art might do or mean, I would say that I hope it makes you feel something. I certainly want my art to be about more than just me, what I can sell, or any other selfish thing. Ideally, I would hope that it makes people feel better in some way. There is a quote I like that reads, "Art should comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable". For the most part, I agree with that.
My name is John Brady, I am 51 years old, and I am a mixed media graphic artist living in Annapolis Maryland. While I have dabbled with other media, just about all the work I do nowadays is in colored pencil and ink, on paper and board of various types.
I grew up in NYC, in the Bronx, on the Grand Concourse, between Yankee Stadium and Fordham University. My parents grew up across the street from each other in Hell's Kitchen, on 9th Avenue in Manhattan. No matter where I have lived outside of NYC I have always considered myself a New Yorker. As they say, you can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy.
I have no formal background in art. I attended no art school, and have taken no art lessons. In fact, I was 27 years old before I ever did anything artistic. That said, growing up in NYC, I was certainly exposed to the arts. It was important to my parents that their children visit museums, galleries, etc. But, I didn't have to visit museums and galleries to experience art. Art was all around me, in the architecture and sculpture throughout the city, and in the graffitii that sprang up daily on the walls, buildings, and subways of the city.
The only thing I did growing up that might be remotely called artistic is the habit I had of doodling. I doodled a lot. but I never saved a doodle or viewed them as anything artistic. Then one day in my mid twenties someone asked me if they could keep the doodle I had done while we were talking. I said yes, as it was nothing I had intended to keep. Then he took the doodle to the mantle in his living room, removed a photo from one of the frames, and placed the doodle in the frame. I suppose that a seed was planted in that moment. It had not crossed my mind that anyone would care about this form of my expression. Over the years I have l discovered that some people actually do care.
I do this work because I kind of have to. I don't understand exactly why it is I have to, but I have come to think of my art as a kind of vehicle which draws out of me what I cannot express otherwise. In other words, what I convey through my art I cannot convey in any other way. For the most part, I start a piece without being conscious of any particular idea, theme, person, etc. I just feel I need to be in that drawing place, and I trust the process to lead me. On rare occasions I do feel myself led by a kind of reminiscence. In those instances, I might find myself reflecting on the impact that a person or an experience had on me. I find that the process of creating art is helpful to me in times that I am having to cope with and recover from great loss. My art has saved me more that once.