Slater Bradley

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Slater Bradley

Slater Bradley was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He graduated from San Francisco
University High School in 1993 and earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in

Best known for his cinematic homage to tragic figures from the annals of pop culture, Slater Bradley
makes work in a variety of media, including video, photography, and installation. Born from the
artist’s interest in iconic figures and doppelgängers, Bradley’s cinematic technique draws from the
legacies of Stanley Kubrick, Jean-Luc Godard, and the history of experimental film. His references
to popular cult heroes Joy Division, Kurt Cobain, and River Phoenix, as well as his collaborations
with friend and lookalike Benjamin Brock, have earned him comparisons with Andy Warhol./p>

In his videos, photographs, performances, and paintings, Slater Bradley uses popular culture,
notably punk and pop music—the aesthetics of their videos and posters, the tales of their heroes
and antiheroes, and their sometimes raw expressiveness—to explore the timeless themes of legacy,
identity, and mortality. Bradley is interested in how popular and cult figures endure over time,
both in the collective imagination of their fans and through the continual dissemination of
their music and videos. By appropriating images from album covers and music videos, he
demonstrates how music and musicians shape, and are shaped by, collective memory in constantly
shifting ways. In The Doppelgänger Trilogy (2001-04), a set of three videos in which an actor
plays imaginary live performances as three ill-fated musicians—Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain, and
Michael Jackson—Bradley explores the power of video and tribute to grant certain personas a sort
of immortality.

Bradley launched his career with his first solo show titled The Fried Liver Attack, named after
the chess gambit which sacrifices the knight, at Team Gallery in 1999. He gained notoriety at
25, with his second solo show, Charlatan, also at Team Gallery, which displayed his “real flair
for capturing emotional moments.” The show featured a video work with actress Chloë Sevigny
standing on a cloudy beach reciting Thomas Mann’s Tonio Kröger as well as the videos JFK Jr. and
Female Gargoyle. In a review of Charlatan, critic Roberta Smith offers the statement “It is a
declaration of artistic intent that makes one eager to see what Mr. Bradley will do next.” Next,
Bradley introduced the concept of “The Doppelganger” as a central theme of his work, in 2001
during a show titled Trompe le Monde at Galerie Yvon Lambert in Paris. The video for Trompe le
Monde marks the first appearance of The Doppelganger, portrayed by model Ben Brock, a concept
that continues to be woven into Bradley’s work at present.