As part of our series of artist talks from Tours of Duty, we are pleased to present an evening with Todd Bradley discussing his series War Stories I Never Heard.
Join us Saturday November 7th at 7pm Eastern online in the Griffin Zoom Room for a conversation about Todd’s creativity and very personal path to creating the series included in our exhibition Tours of Duty.
The event is FREE for Griffin Members, and $12 for Non Members. Not a member? Join us for great programming and events like this and support the Griffin.
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.
About Todd Bradley
Todd Bradley (b1970, Detroit, USA) has lived in San Diego for over 30 years; 20 of those with Walter, Todd’s husband, and their 2 Rat Terriers; Gus and Hank. Self-taught with occasional classes and workshops; he draws inspiration from photographers Lori Nix and David Levinthal. As an artist, Todd uses different mediums and styles to express his views. Todd’s work focuses on decay, whether it is organic, structures, or our society.
Todd believes 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, Todd wants to push the medium in new ways. Using a tradition photography foundation, he digitally altering his photographs or use micro dioramas to discuss social issues facing us.
Todd was named 2017 “New Talent of the Year” by the London Creative Awards and has exhibited in numerous group shows in museum and galleries worldwide. His work has been published internationally. Todd is also a founding member of Snowcreek Collaborative, a collective of fine art photographers in San Diego.