Todd Bradley – Featured LACP Member, October 2020
Todd Bradley (1970, Detroit, USA) is a contemporary macro | digital photographer currently residing in San Diego, California. He works with dioramas, alternative portraiture, and digital manipulation. Todd builds scale model dioramas that become his narrative. Todd’s aesthetic focuses on detailed features, demonstrating new perspectives to ordinary objects in still time.
As an artist, I like to explore different mediums and styles to express my views. My work focuses on decay, whether it is seedpods, structures, or our society. I believe the current state of photography is mirroring the early 1900’s when Kodak introduced the Brownie camera to the masses. Today, we have the cell phone. In both times, Cameras became common and artists took notice. As the Modernists once did, I want to push the medium in new ways. Using a tradition photography foundation, I digitally alter my photographs or use micro child-like dioramas to discuss social issues facing us.
War Stories I Never Heard explores the impact of discovering a loved one’s World War II military stories after his death, and the longing for a deeper personal connection with him after he is gone.
My grandfather Raymond Bradley was just 21 years old when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 to fight Hitler’s Nazi regime that was taking over the world. Hitler had been trying to create a superior race by killing the “unfit,” including Jews, the physically/mentally handicapped, and homosexuals. I am gay and I recently discovered a small percentage of my ancestry is Ashkenazi Jewish. Had I been living in 1944, my life would have been in danger; my grandfather was fighting for me 75 years ago without his knowing it.
After he passed in 2008, I was given a small box of photographs and mementos of my Grandpa Ray. I knew he had fought in Normandy, but it never registered as anything important. But all of a sudden, holding his stripes and medals in my hands, I needed to know about his time in battle. Due to the limited number of photos from D-Day and bits of information written on the backs of photos he saved, I created dioramas to fill in the gaps and recreate scenes from photographs my grandpa had kept. I tell about his time serving in the Army during WWII through still-life arrangements of memorabilia, photo collages, and our genetic DNA codes (specifically, my Y-chromosome code which is the same as my dad and grandfather’s codes), which symbolizes our family lineage and my personal connection to my grandfather.
Todd’s upcoming exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography opens October 29th and runs until December 6th. Artist Talk: November 7th at 4pm (P.S.T)
Not a LACP Member? Click HERE to become a LACP Member and your chance to become “Featured LACP Member of the Month!”